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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2008 Nov 6;128(21):2436-9.

[Outcomes after planned home births].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Føde- og gynekologisk avdeling Hammerfest sykehus 9613 Hammerfest og Institutt for klinisk medisin Universitetet i Tromsø.



About 150 planned home births take place in Norway annually. Professionals have different opinions on whether such births are safe or not. The aim of the present study was to perform a systematic literature review on maternal and neonatal outcomes after planned home births.


A review was performed of literature retrieved from searches in MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, Cinahl and The Cochrane Library and relevant references found in the articles. The searches were limited to studies published in 1985 and later.


10 studies with data from 30 204 women who had planned and were selected to home birth at the onset of labour were included. Three of the studies had control groups including women with planned hospital births. All included studies were assessed to be of medium quality. Between 9.9 and 23.1 % of women and infants were transferred to hospital during labour or after birth. There were few caesarean sections, other interventions or complications in the studies assessed; the total perinatal mortality rate was 2.9/1000 and the intrapartum mortality rate 0.8/1000.


There is no sound basis for discouraging low-risk women from planning a home birth. Results from the included studies do not directly apply to Norwegian conditions. Outcomes and transfers after planned home births should be systematically registered.

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