Bottom Line: Homebirth can be safe with strict selection criteria and highly educated midwives.
Patients were divided into three groups, homebirth, hospital birth with a midwife and hospital birth with a doctor. Risk levels were matched by excluding anyone from either hospital group if they would not meet the eligibility criteria for homebirth.
The rate of perinatal death per 1000 births was very low and comparable in all 3 groups: it was 0.35 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.00–1.03) among the planned home births, 0.57 (95% CI 0.00–1.43) among the planned hospital births attended by a midwife and 0.64 (95% CI 0.00–1.56) among the planned hospital births attended by a physician. There were no deaths between 8 and 28 days of life.
This is great news for low-risk women who want homebirths. Unfortunately, here in Oregon, licensed midwives are not required to have anywhere near the training held by registered Canadian midwives, and the risk-out criteria is so lax, it would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. What happens when you compare the Canadian stats from this study to stats from the United States? You get this:
For more information, read here.