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In our society today, women have a choice as to where to deliver their babies. Though home births have been on the slow increase (with some ‘popularization’ by certain celebrity backing,) we should be careful not to ‘over-glamourize’ the concept of home birth. Before considering the option of home birth, it’s vitally important for us to understand the risks of delivering a baby at home, even when those desires for home birth are based on concerns for a more private, comfortable, or ‘natural’ birthing experience.
Though the risk of neonatal death from a home birthing experience is (overall) considered low, findings from a new Cornell University study on home births show us that the risk of neonatal death is nearly 4X higher for babies delivered at home than those delivered in a hospital setting. According to lead author Dr. Amos Grunebaum, a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Cornell University's Weill Cornell Medical College, the predominant reason why “Home birth is more dangerous”, is that births occurring at home don't have the advantage of a hospital delivery, where immediate critical care is available for the baby if a complication arises. "There's insufficient equipment and personnel available [in the home] to address complications," Grunebaum says. Woman should know these risks before considering a home birth.
To address the concerns of women and families who may want to experience a more private, natural (yet safer) birthing experience, many hospitals offer low-intervention birthing choices for healthy mothers, those without high risk health or pregnancy related factors. To enhance comfort during your birthing experience, many of these low-intervention birthing rooms are equipped with furnishings and décor more similar to home. One of our participating hospitals even offers a low-intervention birthing suite equipped with a queen-sized bed, to fit both parents! Low-intervention fetal monitoring during labor and requests for ‘minimal intervention’ during labor may be considered (as allowed based on the clinical circumstances.)
To ensure the safest site of delivery for you and your baby, our practice supports the concept of bringing ‘home to the hospital’…not bringing ‘hospital to the home’.
Suzanne Hall, MD (@drsuzyyhall)
Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC
Offices located in Roseville, Macomb, Grosse Pointe, Rochester MI