The truth on births at home
HOME birth is not only as safe for low-risk women and their babies as a hospital delivery, but they are significantly less likely to experience medical intervention and injuries during the birth.
The first study into the outcomes of home births has found that women with a highrisk pregnancy face a substantially higher chance of their baby dying.
The research into more than 833,000 births in Victoria over 15 years — including almost 4000 planned home births — was commissioned by a coroner as part of the recommendations following a homebirth death.
The study, conducted by Safer Care Victoria and the Ritchie Centre, found that home birth was safe for women giving birth to one baby at term, when neither mum nor bub had health problems.
Women at high risk, such as having a multiple pregnancy or previous caesareans, had almost a three times greater chance of a stillbirth if remaining at home.
Lead author Miranda Davies-Tuck said the findings supported current inclusion criteria for the two public home-birth programs running alongside maternity hospitals.
“It’s particularly important in the era of Dr Google to have objective and assessable data,” Dr Davies-Tuck said.