Home birth safety


Expecting moms who want to give birth at home instead of a hospital getting some re-assuring news. A new report out of McMcaster says that mother’s experiencing a healthy pregnancy aren’t at a higher risk of complications as those who have a planned-hospital delivery.

The woman behind the study is a new mother who just gave birth in the comfort of her own home.

Emery is just over 9 pounds, loves to sleep, and two weeks ago was born meters away in her mother’s bedroom in their Mount Hope home.

Emery’s parents are part of a growing movement of people opting to give birth under their own roof

“I phoned my midwife by 6 oclock, she was here at 7 and we had the baby at 9 and by 11 I went down for dinner with the family.” said Bethany Pryde.

A report by McMaster University and the Association of Ontario Midwifes says home births are safe as long as it’s a low-risk pregnancy.

“You want to have a single baby, a head down baby, a baby that’s growing well and adequately during the pregnancy.” said Dr. Eileen Hutton from the DeGroote School of Medicine.

The report, which covered over 11 000 home and hospital births over three years found that expecting mothers were more likely to undergo interventions like induced labour and c-sections in hospitals.

Procedures Bethany avoided at home.

“I knew where my stuff was. I knew where my bedroom was. I knew that if I wanted to go for a bath iI could go for a bath. When you’re in labour and you’re in your home environment that whole physiological process of birthing is able to happen.”

Which isn’t painless.

“Of course I felt everything. But the second she was out the pain was gone.”

The report also highlighted that at-home stillbirths and neonatal deaths occurred in 1.15 for every 1000 births compared to only .94 in hospital.

“The amount of home births in Ontario has doubled from 6000-12 00 from 2003 to 2009 and if more midwifes are registered, we could potentially see that number rise.”

“I don’t think women will immediately be comfortable with the idea of moving out of hospital but I think it’s more and more likely women will look at that as an option.”


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