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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Oct;209(4):325.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.06.022. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Selected perinatal outcomes associated with planned home births in the United States.

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1
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

More women are planning home birth in the United States, although safety remains unclear. We examined outcomes that were associated with planned home compared with hospital births.

STUDY DESIGN:

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of term singleton live births in 2008 in the United States. Deliveries were categorized by location: hospitals or intended home births. Neonatal outcomes were compared with the use of the χ(2) test and multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS:

There were 2,081,753 births that met the study criteria. Of these, 12,039 births (0.58%) were planned home births. More planned home births had 5-minute Apgar score <4 (0.37%) compared with hospital births (0.24%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-2.58) and neonatal seizure (0.06% vs 0.02%, respectively; adjusted odds ratio, 3.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.44-6.58). Women with planned home birth had fewer interventions, including operative vaginal delivery and labor induction/augmentation.

CONCLUSION:

Planned home births were associated with increased neonatal complications but fewer obstetric interventions. The trade-off between maternal preferences and neonatal outcomes should be weighed thoughtfully.

KEYWORDS:

neonatal outcome; planned home birth

Comment in

PMID:
23791564
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2013.06.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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