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Giving Birth at Home is Safe in Most Cases, Study Claims

A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) claims child birth at home is just as safe as hospital births.  Researchers at McMaster university, in Ontario, Canada, compared over 11,000 home births to 11,000 hospital births and found that home births with the assistance of a midwife were just as safe as hospital births, as long as the parent and fetus are both healthy and the pregnancy is developing normally.

Samantha Craggs from CBC reported the following information from the study and from researcher Eileen Hutton:

” ‘There’s a huge stigma around home birth, but I think that’s shifting,’ ” she said. ‘It’s clear that it’s still very much misunderstood.’

Researchers found that about 75 per cent of the women who planned to give birth at home did, and about 97 per cent of women who planned to give birth at hospitals did so.

In the study group, eight per cent of those giving birth at home needed emergency medical services, as did 1.7 per cent of the hospital group, said a CMAJ media release.

Not surprisingly, women in the hospital group had more obstetrical interventions such as labour augmentation, assisted vaginal births and caesarean deliveries.

The study found little difference in the incidence of stillbirth or neonatal death — 1.15 for every 1,000 babies for home births, and 0.94 in the hospital group.

‘Compared with women who planned to birth in hospital, women who planned to birth at home underwent fewer obstetrical interventions, were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth and were more likely to be exclusively breast feeding at three to 10 days after delivery,’ the authors wrote.”


For some, it is very important to have a child born naturally without medicine or invasive tools to assist the childbirth. With this new evidence from McMaster University researchers, we expect home births to gradually become more popular in the future.

You can find the link to the study here

Here is an interesting BBC documentary that explores how women choose to have their childbirth:


About Jason Edgerton

Jason Edgerton
Mr. Edgerton holds a university degree in philosophy. He aims to provide valuable news content for Youth Independent readers.