Home Births Associated with More Complications than Hospital Deliveries

November 15, 2013 | Physician Practice News

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Women who choose home birth over giving birth in a hospital may be increasing the chance of neonatal complications and should be given the necessary information to make an informed choice, finds a study published in the October 2013 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The retrospective study compared the outcomes of 12,039 planned home births with the outcomes of 2,069,714 hospital births that occurred in 2008. Having a home birth almost doubled the chance of a five-minute Apgar score of four or less and more than tripled the risk of neonatal seizure. Women giving birth at home were less likely to undergo induction or augmentation of labor, to have an assisted delivery, and to seek neonatal intensive care at a hospital following the delivery compared with hospital births.

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