The Safety of Out-Of-Hospital Birth

For healthy women enjoying normal pregnancies, planned birth at home with thorough preparation and professional attendants has proved to be safe. Supporters of out-of-hospital birth view pregnancy and birth as an experience of health requiring “not cure but care”.

By staying in her home environment or coming to our birth center, she has freedom of movement and the people of her choice around her. This enables the mother to better cope with and promote an efficient labor. Drugs and routine use of technology can be avoided when this approach is used.

After the birth, the mother and her baby are not separated. Both benefit from the full involvement of the people closest to them. This creates an excellent opportunity for bonding and breastfeeding. Neither mother nor baby is exposed to “hospital germs”. These supportive features help a mother and her new baby avoid complications and to stay healthy and normal.

In planning for an out-of-hospital birth it is important to be realistic. Problems during pregnancy sometimes rule out home and birth center birth. Problems during labor, delivery or postpartum may require transfer to a consulting physician or to a hospital-based midwifery service. BirthCare is fortunate to have the cooperation of several outstanding physicians and midwives in hospitals close to our birth center and our client’s homes. They are available for consultation, referral, and emergency services if necessary.

Our excellent outcome statistics are available for your review. Our cesarean birth rate is approximately 2%. Our episiotomy rate is 1.7%, our in-labor transfer rate to the hospital averages 12%, and our average Apgar Scores are 8 and 9. We are proud of our excellent track record for safety.

Visit the National Library of Medicine’s web site to access articles and research reports on these and more health issues.

Birth Can Safely Take Place at Home and in Birthing Centers
Leslie, Romano
Journal of Perinatal Education (supple) Vol.16:815-885, 2007

Shared Responsibility in Home Birth Practice: Collaborating with Clients
Bailes, Alice, CNM, MSN and Jackson, Marsha E., CNM, MSN, FACNM
Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, Vol. 45, No. 6, November/December 2000

Home Birth With Certified Nurse-Midwife Attendants in the United States
Jackson, Marsha E., CNM, MSN and Bailes, Alice J., CNM, MSN
Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, Vol. 40, No. 6, November/December 1995

Outcomes of Intended Home Births in Nurse-Midwifery Practice: A Prospective Descriptive Study
Murphy, Patricia Aikins, CNM, DrPH, and Fullerton, Judith, CNM, PhD
Vol. 92, No. 3, September 1998

Outcomes of Care in Birth Centers
Brooks, et. al.
New England Journal of Medicine, 321:1804-1811 (December 28), 1989