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Study: Home Births May Be Safer Than Hospital Births

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File photo of a woman undergoing an ultrasound. (Photo by GENT SHKULLAKU/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a woman undergoing an ultrasound. (Photo by GENT SHKULLAKU/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS Atlanta (con't)

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Atlanta (CBS Atlanta) - A new study has found that mothers experiencing low-risk pregnancies and who are planning home births may have an overall lower risk of birth complications than those who plan their births in hospitals.

LiveScience is reporting that just 1 in 1,000 of the mothers monitored for the study suffered from severe complications during their home births, as opposed to 2.3 in every 1,000 who gave birth in a hospital.

The study, conducted by researchers in the Netherlands, additionally noted a marked decrease in incidents of postpartum hemorrhage in mothers who gave birth at home – 19.6 out of 1,000 compared to 37.6 out of 1,000 respectively.

A reported 146,000 women took part in the study. Of those, 92,333 were said to be giving birth at home, while 54,419 chose the option of giving birth in a hospital.

Researchers told LiveScience that their findings likely only apply to regions where midwives are fully qualified to assist in a home birth.

They added to the science news website that the dearth of severe complications in planned home births should not lead to a general lack of concern surrounding home births for families weighing their options, as “every avoidable adverse maternal outcome is one too many.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Prevention in Atlanta, the amount of home births in the United States went up last decade.

“Home births are still rare in the United States, comprising less than 1 percent of births, however they have been increasing since 2004,” they noted on their official website.

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