Home birth was the standard in the US until about 100 years ago. Home birth is still fairly common in many European countries. In the Netherlands, 30% of births are home births. There have been studies through the years looking at the safety of home birth. Many of these studies had flaws, like including unplanned home births, and home births without a trained birth attendant. Recent studies have been better designed, and the data used has been better screened to reduce including births outside the criteria set for the study.
The newest study affirms that home birth is just as safe as hospital birth for low risk pregnancies, and that mothers and fathers are more satisfied with the home birth experience than the hospital birth experience. Having a home birth also increases the likelihood that breastfeeding will be successful compared to birthing in a hospital. The latest study also matches the conclusions drawn from a 2018 study. As we get more data, the evidence just keeps growing that home birth is a safe option.
As I wrote in an earlier blog post, I became a midwife because of hospital care that needlessly put a mother's life at risk. In the US, our maternal mortality rates keep rising which means there is something seriously wrong. I can change that, one client at a time, one home birth at a time.