Study: infant deaths higher in home births

More pregnant women are deciding to have home births in the United States. The growing trend of home births has led to several debates about how they impact the health and safety of both mom and baby. Previous studies have made claims that home births may be safer for pregnant women in certain cases, but other studies have claimed home births increase the risk of birth injury - and even death.

Now a new study is out and suggests that home births have a higher risk of infant death in the U.S. compared to hospital births. The study found home births have a newborn death rate more than four times higher than hospital newborns. The researchers said certain pregnant woman have an even higher risk of newborn death if they are first-time mothers, are older women or have a high-risk pregnancy.

The researchers looked at babies born full-term in the U.S. who were not twins or triplets. They found that when midwives were used in hospitals, 3.1 babies died per 10,000 births. The death rate is much higher for home births by midwives, with 13.2 deaths per 10,000 babies. The study found that first-time mothers had a higher risk of infant death, with 21.9 babies dying per 10,000 births.

Why do home births have a higher risk of infant death in the U.S.? The researchers said home birth attendants are not always professionally trained so they may not know what to do during an emergency situation. They also said that since the mother is giving birth at home, if an emergency situation arises, it takes too long to get to the hospital and increases the chances of the baby dying.

During an emergency during child birth, it is vital for action to be taken immediately. If the woman needs to have a C-section but she isn't at a hospital, the amount of time it takes to get to the hospital to receive any and all emergency treatment may cause long-term damage or fatal complications to the baby as well as the mother in some cases.

This post about home births and newborn deaths is not intended to scare anyone. Rather, it is to inform pregnant women about the risks during child birth so she can make an informed decision to keep herself and her baby as healthy and safe as possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, "New Study Suggests Risk of Death Is Higher In Home Births," Tia Ghose, Feb. 3, 2014

Categories: Birth Injuries