Study Compares the Safety of Home and Hospital Births

Expectant mothers in Connecticut will generally be taken to a hospital or other medical facility when they are ready to give birth, but a comprehensive Canadian study indicates that home deliveries may be just as safe for women with uncomplicated pregnancies. The study compared the outcomes of 11,000 hospital births and approximately 11,000 planned home births in Ontario. The results of the study were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The study also found that interventions like cesarean deliveries and resuscitations were less common when planned births took place in the home with a midwife present. Midwives are present at about 10 percent of births in Ontario. The Canadian study focused on the home births of women with low risk pregnancies, and the researchers were quick to point out that pregnant women who suffer from diabetes, hypertension, HIV, anemia and a number of other conditions should give birth in a hospital.

Emergency services personnel were called to provide assistance to about 8 percent of the women studied who had their babies at home. Those who gave birth in a hospital required emergency care only 2 percent of the time, but they had a higher frequency of interventions such as C-sections and labor augmentations. The researchers also noticed that the rates of stillbirths and newborn deaths were somewhat higher among women who gave birth at home.

Newborn infants are highly vulnerable to the consequences of birth-related negligence whether they are born at home or in a hospital, and personal injury attorneys may file medical malpractice lawsuits on behalf of parents when their infant children suffer due to the carelessness of doctors, nurses or midwives. Attorneys may initiate such litigation when they are able to demonstrate that the medical professionals concerned deviated from what would be considered a reasonable standard of care.