Home-birth fatal for babies: Research

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London, Apr 2: Rush to the hospital if you are into labour as giving birth at home can be fatal for your baby, research revealed. Women who opt for a home birth were more likely to lose their baby than those who have them in hospital, it said.A study of death rates in newborn babies, including stillbirths, over 10 years in Britain and Wales found that although overall survival had improved, home births are no safer than a decade ago. Overall, one baby in 1,400 died during birth or in the first week, whereas one baby in 800 born or intended to be born at home died, it revealed.

Professor Philip Steer, Editor in Chief of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which published the reserach, said mothers should be informed of the increased risk of opting for a home birth. He said, ''If it if your first pregnancy, then one in four women will develop a problem during labour that was unforseeable. A successful home birth can be great but the tragedy is that it can go wrong.'' However, midwives said home births were generally safe. ''The research is welcome, but it is far from conclusive. Women planning a home birth should not be worried, because, with the proper support and resources in place, a home birth is safe, '' Dame Karlene Davis, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives said.

''What is needed to make home birth even safer are better staffing and resources, such as quick access to ambulance transfers for the very small number of women who develop complications,'' he added.


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