Are homebirth and hospital birth just as safe? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 05-29-2008, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
IrelandsMama's Avatar
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Okay here goes another funny question that there may be no answer to but it's been floating around in my head.

When we talk about the safety of homebirth vs. hospital birth the study published in BMJ always pops up. And it concludes that they are just as safe as each other, which kind of gets me thinking. Perhaps I am over simplifying this but based on that study, I assume that there is some risk to birthing at home, few circumstances in which hospital location would change the outcome. Or perhaps the risk lies with patient relationships, the birthing mothers knowledge and trust. For example since we don't monitor as much during a birth we rely on mom to tell us, show us, that she is going through normal birth. Or since we hold nutrition so high we rely on mom to be truthful that she eats well, drinks water, exercises..... I don't know just a couple of ideas about some of the risk that might elevate homebirth numbers... I could be totally off.

But anyways then I look at hospital birth and it's easy to see where the risk comes in... unnecessary procedures, infection, intervention, high c-section rates. So how is normal homebirth not safer, when it comes to mortality numbers? I see that the morbidity risk is much better, which makes total sense, but is the fact just that some mothers/babies are going to die and location doesn't matter? I know this is just one study but it's really the best one we have right?

Maybe I'm over analyzing this poor little study, but in my heart of hearts I believe homebirth is much safer, and I can see how this study reflects that, but then my own ideas of how dangerous hospitals are is kind of off. I guess their morbidity is pretty nasty, but really birthing at home is not going to keep me any more alive than birthing in a hospital.... hmmmmmmmm wish it would. LOL

I've also realized that there is much more to this story, for example whats going on in other countries where the care systems are just much better overall. More midwives in homes and hospitals, better relationships with OB's, better transfer care and so on...... so I assume based on national statistics that this kind of care produces better outcomes. But living in the US I guess I'm just looking at our system and a explanation of why the numbers are so.

Thanks to anyone who reads my ramblings and like I said I understand if there is no answer, it's just one study.....

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