Homebirth Study One-page Fact Sheet

New home birth study from the MANA Statistics Dataset shows that Planned Home Birth with Skilled Midwives is Safe for Low-Risk Pregnancies

The largest study of planned, midwife-led home birth in the U.S. to date, reported outcomes for nearly 17,000 women who went in to labor intending to deliver at home between 2004 and 2009.

Safe Outcomes with Positive Benefits

  • High rate of completed home birth (89.1%)
  • High rate of vaginal birth (93.6%)
  • High rate of completed vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC; 87.0%) Low intrapartum and neonatal fetal death rate overall:
  • o 2.06 per 1000 intended home births (includes all births)
  • o 1.61 per 1000 intended home births excluding breech, vbac, twins,
  • gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
  • Low rate of low APGAR scores
  • Extremely high rate of breastfeeding (97.7%) at 6 weeks

Few Emergency Transfers to Hospital Care

  • Primary reason for transport was “failure to progress.” Transfer for urgent reasons, such as “fetal distress” was rare.

Low Rates of Intervention

  • Cesarean section rate of 5.2%
  • Less than 5% used pitocin or epidural anesthesia

More Information

Results for low-risk mothers are consistent with most studies of planned homebirth. For more information on relative risks and decision making see MANA Home Birth Data 2004- 2009 Consumer Considerations at http://www.cfmidwifery.org/pdf/MANAHBStudy04-09Considerations.pdf and “Safety” in Childbirth: What Does This Mean? What is “Safe” Enough? at http://cfmidwifery.org/pdf/Safety%20FINAL.pdf.

Data were collected prospectively. Midwives logged in information for each client throughout her pregnancy, birth, and up to 6 weeks postpartum. This method of data collection reduces selection bias since outcomes were not known at the time they were entered into the MANA Stats system at onset of care.

References:

  1. Cheyney, M., Bovbjerg, M., Everson, C., Gordon, W., Hannibal, D., and Vedam, S. (2014). Development and Validation of a National Data Registry for midwife-led births: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project 2.0 dataset. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 59(1).

  2. Cheyney, M., Bovbjerg, M., Everson, C., Gordon, W., Hannibal, D., and Vedam, S. (2014). Outcomes of care for 16,924 planned home births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 59(1).

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