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MANAs data results do not justify their press release statement

I have respect for women who choose where they want to give birth and their plans on how they wish to birth. But I am confused with the MANA results and the MANA press statement. The study was expected to have information of over 29,000 deliveries but only has less than 17,000. Apparently only 20-30% of the midwifes responded and all of it was volunteer reporting. MANA released the low intervention statistics years ago and only now release the outcomes data, why? The actual data is suggestive of a low risk of bad outcomes for homebirthers, but they are clearly at higher risk than hospital birth! The press statement doesn't specifically compare the numbers to any hospital rates of bad outcomes and even states there are really no data sources out there to compare to hospital outcomes. Then the press release statement states Homebirth is safe.
Now in the few days since its posting, sites have linked to this press release and Homebirth advocates are cheering and even as going as far to state that Homebirth is safe and there are no increase bad outcomes with Homebirth according to the MANA data. I am ashamed of MANA. The date clearly is comparable to birth center and hospital data, and there is at least double to 5.5 times the risk of death. Homebirth is in America as Homebirth in America does, yet the Homebirth advocates who are looking at the actually data are making excuses about the worse outcomes as they speculate that it is either due to the high risks births that were included, or because they must have been farther away from the hospital than just 5 minutes, or just ignoring the outcomes data and focusing on the low intervention data.
Women attempting Homebirth need this data to make an informed decision. If they are low risk or high risk and know the data and still want to Homebirth then fine. But too many people out there are looking at your press release and saying they knew all along that Homebirth was as safe as hospital birth. You have released a very deceitful press release, that will lead to more poor outcomes from women who thought your data meant it was as safe. I believe it is a large misrepresentation. I hope the sites that are discussing the actual rests continue to spread the word and I hope ACOG puts out an opinion of these results soon.


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