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Hospitals and birth centers remain safest setting for giving birth, US obstetricians say

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4217 (Published 29 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4217
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

Women considering a planned home birth should be fully informed of the benefits and risks when making their choice, such as a reduced risk of medical interventions but increased risk of perinatal death and neonatal seizures or neurologic dysfunction, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ committee on obstetric practice has advised in a new opinion document.1

After reviewing the latest evidence the committee said that women should be informed that, although a planned home birth is associated with fewer maternal interventions than planned hospital birth, it is also associated with more than twice the risk of perinatal death (3.9 per 1000 births v 1.8 per 1000 hospital births; odds ratio 2.43) and a threefold increased risk of …

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