Homebirth, a Safe Choice

Why is home birth a safe choice
with Home Birth Midwives?

There is a significant amount of international research published which identifies that home birth is as safe as hospital birth for well woman and well babies.

Jacqui Anderson completed her Masters of Midwifery in 2006. She analysed our midwifery practices outcomes over a 5 yr period and came up with the following results.

The results for 485 women who intended to birth at home at initial booking with the practice were analysed.

  • Of the original 485 women 442 (91.2%) planned to birth at home at the onset of labour.
  • 87.5% of these women had a physiologically normal labour and birth at home (NZ rates = 67% NZHIS).
  • Of the 442 women who planned to birth at home at the onset of labour, 89.6% had a spontaneous cephalic birth (either at home or in hospital). The transfer rate in labour was 12.5%.
  • Women having their first baby were more likely to transfer to hospital than women who had 1 or more children.
  • The caesarean section rate for women who planned to birth at home at the start of labour was 4.9% and overall was 6.6% including women whose plans changed in pregnancy (the average c/section rate in NZ is 25%, NZHIS).
  • Assisted birth (forceps/ventouse) rate was 5.3% and the induction of labour rate was 3.9% with 1.6% for post term.
  • 95.5% of women who had a previous caesarean section had a vaginal birth with us (literature suggests 60-75% can hope for a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section).
  • 73% of women did not have an injection, at any time, for the birth of their placenta. Those women who required an injection had a significantly higher blood loss overall. Most often this was for women whose labours were more complex and required hospital admission.
  • 97.4% of babies born at home stayed at home.
  • The exclusive breastfeeding rate at 6 weeks postnatal was 91.1% with 97% of babies having some breast milk.

 

Conclusion

The majority of women who planned to birth at home, with this midwifery practice, did so successfully. They and their babies were well. Women birthing with this midwifery practice had a high rate of spontaneous cephalic birth. Those women who birthed at home can be described as being supported to have a physiologically normal labour and birth i.e no routine interventions such as breaking of waters, episiotomy, injections of drugs.

This study demonstrates that the women birthing with this midwifery practice have not been subjected to interventions commonly used in maternity settings, home birth is a viable birthing option and planning to birth at home maximises the potential for a normal birth.

Home birth a safe choice
  • We believe that pregnancy and birth are normal life events.
  • Care is provided by experienced skilled midwives who have specialised in home birth for over 20 years.
  • 24/7 access to midwifery care. Comprehensive and on-going assessment and care for you and your baby during pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatally.
  • Consultation with and referral to other health professionals as required.
  • We carry with us, at all times, safety equipment equivalent to that used in birthing units.
  • Two experienced midwives at every birth.
  • Nearly 90% of our clients will have a normal, intervention free birth (Anderson 2006).
birth at home, cutting the umbilical cord

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