Homebirth safety data prompts call to expand

A study of 12 homebirth programs showed the rate of stillbirth and early neonatal death was 1.7 per 1000 births, after deaths because of expected fetal anomalies were excluded.

Of the 1807 women — deemed at low risk of complications — who gave birth between 2005 and 2010, 90% had a normal vaginal birth. Some 17% were transferred to hospital during labour or within a week of giving birth and 1.8% had a postpartum haemorrhage.

Study author Caroline Homer, professor of midwifery at