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Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America. BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June). Kenneth C Johnson and Betty-Anne Daviss
http://www.bmj.com//node/367006?variant=long
The study included prospectively reported data from more than 5000 women planning home births with Certified Professional Midwives in the year 2000 in the U.S. and Can, and found that outcomes for mothers and babies were the same as for low-risk mothers giving birth in hospitals, but with a fraction of the interventions.
CONCLUSION: Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using certified professional midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.

Outcomes of intended home births in nurse-midwifery practice: a prospective descriptive study. Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Sep;92(3):461-70. Murphy PA, Fullerton J.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9721790?dopt=Abstract
CONCLUSION: Home birth can be accomplished with good outcomes under the care of qualified practitioners and within a system that facilitates transfer to hospital care when necessary. Intrapartal mortality during intended home birth is concentrated in postdates pregnancies with evidence of meconium passage

Meta-analysis of the safety of home birth Birth 1997 Mar;24(1):4-13; discussion 14-6 Olsen O
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9271961
CONCLUSION: Home birth is an acceptable alternative to hospital confinement for selected pregnant women, and leads to reduced medical interventions.

Attitude to home birth in an antenatal population at the Rotunda Hospital
Author : O'Donovan Maura, Connolly Geraldine, Byrne PJ, Zainal S2000 Volume 93 No 7
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11142955
195 Women attending the antenatal clinics at the hospital were interviewed, about their attitudes to home birth using a standardised questionnaire. One hundred and seventy one women (88%) said that they would not favour a home birth in a subsequent delivery, 19 (9.5%) said that they would consider a home birth in a subsequent pregnancy and the remaining 5 (2.5%) were unsure. Although the majority of women attending the Rotunda Hospital would not consider a home birth, approximately 10% of the sample population would consider this in their next pregnancy. This pilot study indicates that there may be a demand for home birth in patients attending our hospital and further evaluation of this need is warranted.
CONCLUSION: A small proportion of women attending the Rotunda Hospital would consider a home birth in a subsequent pregnancy but further evaluation is required to determine the true place for a home birth service.

Safety of home and hospital birth - data does not support the conclusions Author: Alison Macfarlane, Professor of Midwifery, Institute of Health Sciences, City University, London UK
http://www.biomedsearch.com/nih/Safety-home-hospital-birth-data/15200226.html
As well as being used for decision making within Ireland, the recent article comparing home and hospital delivery in the Eastern Region has been widely circulated in the United Kingdom. There are a number of major methodological problems with the article and these call into question both its validity locally and its applicability to other health care systems.

Safety of Home Delivery Compared with Hospital Delivery in the Eastern Region Health Authority in Ireland in the Years 1999-2002 Author : P McKenna, T Matthews
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14518580
A comparison was made of deaths from intrapartum hypoxia of normally formed babies >2.5kg born at home (N =346) and those born in hospitals (N=61,215). If the intended place of birth is home the chance of dying due to intrapartum hypoxia is 1:70 (5 in 346). If the intended place of birth is hospital the chance of dying is 1:3600 (17 in 61,215). Although the sample size of home births is smaller, the difference is significant (<0.01 level of significance). In view of the small number of home births, the need for ongoing monitoring of home births over a longer period is essential.
A further review discrediting this study by O┬┤Connor, M. Canning, P. and Rybaczuk, K. is available in the internationally peer reviewed MIDIRS Digest 13 (4): 515-518

The Safety of Home Birth: The Farm Study Author A. Mark Durand, MD, MPH Am J Public Health, 1992;82:450-452
http://www.thefarm.org/charities/mid.html
CONCLUSION. The results of this study suggest that, for relatively low-risk pregnancies, home birth with attendance by lay midwives is not necessarily less safe than conventional (hospital-physician) delivery. Support by the medical and legal communities for those electing, and those attending, home birth should not be withheld on the grounds that this option is inherently unsafe