Question: Is a Homebirth Safe?
There is much discussion about the safety of a homebirth. The truth is that the safety of where you give birth depends on several factors. The main issues affecting homebirth is whether you have a low-risk pregnancy and birth, that your homebirth is planned, and that you are attended by a qualified midwife or doctor. In looking at the safety of homebirth, the Cochrane Reviews found that there was "no strong evidence about the benefits and safety of planned home birth compared to a planned hospital birth for low-risk pregnant women."
When weighing the risks and benefits of a homebirth people make the choice to have a homebirth for many reasons. These include:
- wanting a homebirth because it is calmer than a hospital birth
- avoiding the potential increase in unnecessary interventions used in hospital births
- having better control over their own birth experience
- concerns about hospital protocols such as pushed interventions, separation of mother and baby or even super germs such as MRSA.
Whatever the reasons that you are considering a homebirth, it is critical that you talk to your practitioner about the definition of low-risk births and reasons that may require you to switch to a hospital birth to ensure your safety or the safety of your baby.
Olsen O, Jewell MD. Home versus hospital birth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD000352. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000352.