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Home births 'three times riskier' than those in hospitals

Published on 05/07/2010
Parents who opt for a home birth rather than one at a hospital could be trebling the risk of death to the baby, it has been suggested.

A new study has revealed that a lack of specialist care and equipment could result in a greater likelihood of newborn babies suffering from fatal heart and breathing problems if the birth takes place at home.

Researchers reviewed statistics from 549,607 births across North America, Australia and Europe.

Their results, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, revealed that the average mortality rate of babies born at home is one per 1,000 births, compared to just 0.3 per 1,000 for those born in a hospital.

Dr Joseph Wax, who led the research at Maine Medical Center, in New Hampshire, US, said: "We don't know exactly why this trend exists but there could be many causes such as a lack of equipment and expertise.

"At home foetuses may not be adequately monitored for early signs of distress. In hospital they are constantly checked but at home the midwife is on her own doing everything."

Last year, a Dutch study found there to be no significant increased danger to babies born at home compared to those in hospitals to women deemed to be in a 'low-risk' category – those with no known complications.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
Home births 'three times riskier' than those in hospitalsParents who opt for a home birth rather than one at a hospital could be trebling the risk of death to the baby, it has been suggested.A new     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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