My experience, my statistics on hosptial birth & homebirth
I do agree with the OP that the goal is for the mother and baby to be as well as possible after labor and delivery.
For me, personally, home is the best place to birth.
I had an episiotomy (did not want it in any circumstance - which I'd previously discussed with my ob/gyn whom I loved).
Obviously, I lost a lot of blood from this incision.
The baby was vacuum extracted (in my opinion, as the laboring mother, everything was fine. Sshe was fine, all was well, and this was unneccessary and traumatizing).
The baby was whisked away to the nursery "for observation because her temperature was low," so I didn't get to hold her or bond with her. I didn't get to hold her for hours. Finally, they brought her to my room, and she got to nurse for the first time hours after her birth.
I did have a doula as an advocate.
I did have a husband as an advocate.
I was well educated--but not educated well enough to realize that I could birth at home without a midwife. (I wanted to have a homebirth, but I couldn't find a midwife in this rural area.)
I had a very thorough birth plan that dh, doula, ob/gyn, & I knew well.
Approx. Cost $5000 hospital (no drugs) + $3000 ob/gyn prenatal care
No injuries to mother. I barely lost any blood (300 cc was collected). I had no tearing or stitches.
No injuries to baby. (She came out with her eyes open in one whoosh--head down to feet--whoosh)
I got to hold her immediately.
She got to nurse immediately.
She was with me and bonded with me for days, and now weeks.
Approx. Cost $1300 (for prenatal care & supplies & assistance)
In my heart, there's no comparison. It's so sad that dd # 1 had to be in a little plastic cart in a nursery except when they let her come to my room to nurse until we left the hospital 2 1/2 days after her birth. It's a precious time. Clocks can't be turned back. ...all for observation. In my opinion, she needed to be in her mother's arms, feeling warmth and love.
By the way, dd #1 was given a homeopathic remedy for birth trauma (at the age 2 yrs. 2 mos.).
I feel 100% certain that dd # 2 will test negative for birth trauma. I know she didn't have any trauma. I didn't either. That's worth a lot. No amount of money can buy that.