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Studies find at-home births just as safe as, or safer than hospital births

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(NaturalNews) The notion of choosing to give birth at home as opposed to in the hospital may result in some raised eyebrows, with some people adamant that a hospital is the safest, and only, way to go. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has made it clear that they are in favor of hospital-only births, saying that "Choosing to deliver a baby at home... is to place the process of giving birth over the goal of having a healthy baby."(1)

Through the decades, mainly starting in the 1960s, propaganda and popular belief have reinforced such thoughts, holding steadfast to cautionary tales of infant mortality, the mother's safety and out-of-hospital insurance woes should at-home births be entertained.(2)

The growing trend of propaganda and hospital births

Still, many opt to deliver their child at home for a variety of reasons ranging from their desire to welcome the baby in a more individualized, spiritual and family-oriented environment to wanting to avoid the hurried interventions and approaches utilized by many hospitals. In fact, home births used to be commonplace until the notion of having to free a woman of pain, and therefore place her in a hospital, grew from a trendy, fad-like occurrence to an everyday expectation.(2)

Yet, in the midst of it, there are plenty of families who choose to give birth at home, bucking the generally accepted mindset that they should be delivering at the closest medical facility.

Why home births are the safer choice

Turns out, all of the concerns over hospital birth safety are weakening. Several studies have found there to be no difference in infant health whether the child is born at home or in the hospital, and other findings have shown that at-home births are actually safer.

For example, one study of nearly 530,000 women found there to be no significant differences in perinatal mortality rate during the first 24 hours of delivery and first week afterwards between those who gave birth in a hospital and those who chose an at-home birth.(3,4) Professor Simone Buitendijk, lead researcher and head of the Child Health Programme at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research in Leiden, said, "In our research, we studied more than half a million women in primary care and compared planned home births with planned hospital births. The number of babies that died or were admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit was the same in both groups, namely, seven per 1,000. We conclude that women can safely choose where they want to give birth, provided the maternity care system is well equipped for homebirths."

Other studies also show that there's nothing to fear when it comes to home births.

One such study from 2009 was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and indicated that children born in the home with proper supervision from a qualified midwife have less of a risk of dying than those born in a hospital.(2)

This finding is backed by yet another study from 2012 that found home births and fewer medical intervention risks went hand in hand.(2)

"In most homebirth cases, birth will simply occur," said Jill Cohen, associate editor of Midwifery Today.(5) "In most cases of hospital births, the birth will be tampered with to some degree. This is fact. Hospital practitioners are trained to perform--it's commonly held that only action brings about results. At home we believe that if all is well, let it be."(5)

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.findingdulcinea.com

(2) http://www.naturalnews.com

(3) http://www.bjog.org

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(5) http://www.midwiferytoday.com

About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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