For the average, low-risk pregnancy, giving birth at home with a properly trained midwife standing by may be safer than a hospital birth. All the high-tech paraphernalia available in a hospital may actually put about-to-be-borns at risk. Doctors are too tempted to intervene in the birthing process. Those interventions can lead to unnecessary complications.
Research shows that in home births, there are up to 60 percent fewer interventions, fewer Cesarean sections and less-frequent epidurals. There are also up to 30 percent fewer complications like post-partum bleeding and severe perineal tears.
“If home birth is going be an attractive and safe option for most pregnant women, it has to be an integrated part of the health care system,” said lead author Ole Olsen. “In several Danish regions the home birth service has been very well organized for several years. This is not the case everywhere in the world.”
Researcher and midwifery lecturer Jette Aaroe Clausen adds this advice: “Patience is important if women want to avoid interference and give birth spontaneously. At home the temptation to make unnecessary interventions is reduced. The woman avoids, for example, routine electronic monitoring that may easily lead to further interventions in birth.”