Five Year Perspective

4. Five year prospective study of risk of booking for a home birth in Essex

By Shearer JM
Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Nov 23;291(6507):1478-80

This study compared 202 women who booked home births with a similar group of women booked for hospital births. The hospital group had more episiotomies, second-degree tears, and more babies in the hospital group were in poor condition at birth (Apgar 7 or below). No deaths occurred in either group. The induction rate was 8% in the home group and 19% in the hospital group; it seems reasonable to assume that these women all transferred to hospital for induction. Presumably the lower induction rate before onset of labour could reflect more opposition to induction among women booking a home birth, and less pressure for induction from midwives.’The results of this study showed no evidence of an increased risk associated with home confinements but indicated that there were fewer problems than were encountered in the deliveries in mothers confined in hospital.’ Read the abstract on Medline

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