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Home births safe for low-risk pregnancies: North American study
Last Updated Fri, 17 Jun 2005 20:36:22 EDT
CBC News

It is as safe to deliver a baby at home with a professional midwife as it is in hospital, a large study of low-risk women suggests.

Researchers studied how well 5,418 women and their babies fared in 2000. The women all planned to give birth at home in Canada or the United States using certified midwives.

Kenneth Johnson, a senior epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa and his colleagues compared the safety of home births to low-risk hospital births.

"Our study of certified professional midwives suggests that they achieve good outcomes among low-risk women without routine use of expensive hospital interventions," the team concludes in the June 18 issue of the British Medical Journal.

At 1.7 deaths per 1,000 planned home births, the mortality rate was comparable to what earlier studies found for low-risk hospital births in North America.

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