Toronto Canada

6. Outcomes of 1001 midwife-attended home births in Toronto, 1983-1988

By H Tyson
Birth 1991 Mar; 18(1):14-9

This study followed the progress of 361 first-time mothers and 640 multiparas (women who have given birth before) who planned home births.Transfer rates: 92% of mothers having second or later babies gave birth at home, and 8% (51 women) transferred to hospital during labour or the first four days afterwards. 68% of first-time mothers stayed at home, and 32% (116 women) transferred; these figures are similar to those in the National Birthday Trust report. The most common reasons for transfer were long labours, long second stage, and membranes having been ruptured for a long time.Among women who transferred to hospital, 34 had forceps deliveries, and 35 had caesareans. Out of 1001 women, the caesarean rate was therefore 3.5%!One baby born at home died, and one baby born at hospital died. The overall mortality rate of 2/1001 was very low.This study confirmed the excellent rates for breastfeeding after home birth which have been observed elsewhere. At 28 days, 98.6% of mothers were fully breastfeeding (ie no supplements). This is evidence that a relaxed start to family life helps establish breastfeeding. Read the abstract on Medline

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