Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2018 Mar;222:102-108. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2018.01.016. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Planned home versus planned hospital births in women at low-risk pregnancy: A systematic review with meta-analysis.

Author information

Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ospedale della Murgia, Via Celentano, 42, 70121, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:
Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.


New interest in home birth have recently arisen in women at low risk pregnancy. Maternal and neonatal morbidity of women planning delivery at home has yet to be comprehensively quantified. We aimed to quantify pregnancy outcomes following planned home (PHB) versus planned hospital birth (PHos). We did a systematic review of maternal and neonatal morbidity following planned home (PHB) versus planned hospital birth (PHos). We included prospective, retrospective, cohort and case-control studies of low risk pregnancy outcomes according to planning place of birth, identified from January 2000 to June 2017. We excluded studies in which high-risk pregnancy and composite morbidity were included. Outcomes of interest were: maternal and neonatal morbidity/mortality, medical interventions, and delivery mode. We pooled estimates of the association between outcomes and planning place of birth using meta-analyses. The study protocol is registered with PROSPERO, protocol number CRD42017058016. We included 8 studies of the 4294 records identified, consisting in 14,637 (32.6%) in PHB and 30,177 (67.4%) in PHos group. Spontaneous delivery was significantly higher in PHB than PHos group (OR: 2.075; 95%CI:1.654-2.063) group. Women in PHB group were less likely to undergo cesarean section compared with women in PHos (OR:0.607; 95%CI:0.553-0.667) group. PHB group was less likely to receive medical interventions than PHos group. The risk of fetal dystocia was lower in PHB than PHos group (OR:0.287; 95%CI:0.133-0.618). The risk of post-partum hemorrhage was lower in PHB than PHos group (OR:0.692; 95% CI.0.634-0.755). The two groups were similar with regard to neonatal morbidity and mortality. Births assisted at hospital are more likely to receive medical interventions, fetal monitoring and prompt delivery in case of obstetrical complications. Further studies are needed in order to clarify whether home births are as safe as hospital births.


Birth setting; Home births; Hospitalization; Low risk pregnancy; Maternal outcomes; Neonatal outcomes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center