Just a quick post – home birth research

9th July, 2010 - Posted by Drboo - 1 Comment

We are busy working on a new website, so apologies for the lack of new articles recently.
I am busy putting together the “extended” breastfeeding article while my lovely husband creates a beautiful new site where the articles will be stored separately from a new “blog” area.

But I couldn’t let this one pass:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/10465473.stm

The study was reported as finding that:
“Women who plan home births recover more rapidly from childbirth, but there is a higher risk of their child dying”

As a woman who planned a homebirth (although X had other ideas) I researched this issue relentlessly. There is an article in the pipeline on this one…

But for now, I leave you with the NHS Choices analysis of the study that is being reported upon:

The findings are complex, and cannot simply be summed up as showing that hospital births are safer than home births. It is important to highlight that although it appears to show a greater risk of newborn deaths with home births, the absolute risk in either location is still very low (0.2% for planned home births and 0.09% for planned hospital births).
The researchers say that some of the higher mortality rate may be attributable to fewer instrumental or interventional deliveries with home deliveries. This theory cannot be proven or disproved by this research, but would need to be established by further study. Notably, although home births appeared favourable for certain maternal outcomes, the study was unable to shed any light on the risk of maternal death for either location.

And crucially:
It is also important to highlight that when the analysis only looked at homebirths that had been attended by a certified midwife, there was no difference in risk of neonatal mortality compared to hospital births.

So, for now I leave you, once again, with the sad fact that journalists often do not appear to actually read the papers they are reporting on.

1 Comment

Maddie McMahon

July 9th, 2010 at 2:42 pm    


Thank you for this Boo! Sadly, the evidence-based, thoughtful comment never makes the papers. It’s the fearmongering rubbish that makes headlines.

xxx

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