Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

Meta-analysis of the Safety of Homebirth

Meta-analysis of the Safety of Homebirth


The safety of planned home birth is controversial. This study examined the safety of planned home birth backed up by a modern hospital system compared with planned hospital birth in the Western world. Methods: A meta-analysis of six controlled observational studies was conducted, and the perinatal outcomes of 24,092 selected and primarily low-risk pregnant women were analyzed to measure mortality and morbidity, including Apgar scores, maternal lacerations, and intervention rates. Confounding was controlled through restriction, matching, or in the statistical analysis.

Perinatal mortality was not significantly different in the two groups (OR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.54–1.41). The principal difference in the outcome was a lower frequency of low Apgar scores (OR = 0.55; 0.41–0.74) and severe lacerations (OR = 0.61; 0.54–0.83) in the home birth group. Fewer medical interventions occurred in the home birth group: induction (statistically significant ORs in the range 0.06–0.39), augmentation (0.26–0.69), episiotomy (0.02–0.39), operative vaginal birth (0.03–0.42), and cesarean section (0.05–0.31). No maternal deaths occurred in the studies. Some differences may be partly due to bias. The findings regarding morbidity are supported by randomized clinical trials of elements of birth care relevant for home birth, however, and the finding relating to mortality is supported by large register studies comparing hospital settings of different levels of care.

Home birth is an acceptable alternative to hospital confinement for selected pregnant women, and leads to reduced medical interventions.

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