How Safe Is Home Birth? Ctd

Laura Helmuth advocates going to the hospital instead:

A meta-analysis of outcomes from home births and hospital births shows that women who give birth at home do have fewer procedures and complications—but their newborns are three times more likely to die. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that hospitals and birthing centers are the safest places to give birth, and they have published guidelines for how to talk pregnant women out of a home birth. Many states are considering or tightening restrictions on midwives and home births, including IdahoNorth CarolinaSouth Carolina, and Indiana, often in response to heartbreaking and infuriating cases of women or infants dying due to incompetent treatment.

But it turns out home birth isn’t as clearly dangerous as I expected.

The Cochrane Collaboration, a highly respected organization that carefully judges medical treatments, analyzed the available evidence—which is admittedly a bit of a mess. (Among other problems, if a home birth delivery goes wrong, the woman has to be rushed to the hospital, where the complicated case may be recorded as a hospital birth rather than a home birth.) But the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that planned home births with low-risk mothers are as safe as hospital births. Once more for emphasis, though: This is only for women who have an extremely low chance of complications and who have access to emergency medical treatment if anything goes wrong.

Details of my own home-birth here. Above is the trailer for the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born, which champions home-birthing. You can watch the entire film on YouTube. A trailer for the sequel is here.