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Home Birth Safety Back in the News

According to the LA Times, the editors of The Lancet say women can opt for a home birth as long as they know the risks, have a trained midwife with good resuscitation skills and accessible back-up care.

Specifically: “Home delivery is an option for mothers with uncomplicated pregnancies, provided they are advised of the risks involved, have one-to-one midwife care (that includes good resuscitation skills and accreditation by a local regulatory body), and live in a location that allows quick access to obstetric care.”

But the overall tone of their commentary seems much more cautious: the new data on the risks of home birth should be cause for reevaluating the practice, they said. They also state that women don’t have the “right” to put their babies in danger which sounds very ambiguous and unnecessarily provocative to me.

These statements are part of a response to the recent home birth study published in the American Journal of Obstetricians of Gynecologists. The one that basically says home birth is better for mom’s health but puts baby in increased danger. And the one that has been challenged by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and disputed all over the web.

All this debating sure does make it hard for women considering home birth. But the more I read the more I land on the idea that low risk + experienced midwife + back-up care seems a reasonable situation for a safe home birth. Are any of you considering home birth? How has this recent debate affected your decision or feelings about the birth?

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