Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Study compares safety of home births and hospital births

Some pregnant women in Maryland opt for a home birth assisted by a midwife rather than a hospital birth. According to a new study, home births are just as safe as hospital births when the pregnancies are uncomplicated and low-risk. The study, led by a doctor from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University in Canada, was conducted by analyzing data from thousands of home and hospital births in Ontario.

Researchers on the study looked at approximately 11,000 planned home births and 11,000 hospital births that had no risk factors such as diabetes, heart condition, HIV and maternal drug dependency. Premature deliveries and breech births were excluded from the study. The data showed that the rates of stillbirth, newborn death and serious injury were nearly the same for home births and hospital births.

In the home-birth group, 8 percent of the deliveries required emergency services. Though less than 2 percent of hospital births required emergency services, the hospital group required a greater number of birth interventions like C-sections, assisted delivery and labor augmentation. About 75 percent of women in the study who planned to have a home birth gave birth at home, and 97 percent of women who planned to give birth in the hospital did so.

When there are complications in a home or hospital birth, the baby could sustain birth injuries. In some cases, negligence by a health care provider is found to be the root cause of a birth injury. An attorney may be able to help a family to investigate their medical records to determine whether there is evidence that a birth injury was caused by doctor negligence. If negligence was involved, the family may want to seek compensation for their losses through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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