Home Birth May Be Safer Than You Realize, If You Have This One Thing
There seem to be two camps when it comes to home birth:
- Those who accept the data that home birth doesn't seem to be any more dangerous for low-risk women than giving birth in a hospital and
- Those who think that home birth = crazy cakes.
Me, myself, I am totally open to the concept of home birth for the right women, and I do think it's an important conversation to have. And with more medical research now geared towards taking a closer look at the real safety of home birth, we know more than ever about the risks and benefits.
One interesting study found that there seems to be one common theme for women that are the safest during a home childbirth: money.
The study found that the difference in home birth being safer came down to women who had more income and thus more quality health care both before and after their pregnancies. (Look at that: your health matters even when you're not growing a baby, ladies, so listen up!)
Researchers looked at Dutch women, who have a choice between giving birth at home or at a hospital, and discovered that the women who had an income above the average median income in the country did not face a higher risk of infant mortality for their babies.
But women who were under the median income faced a significant difference in safety for their babies. The mortality rate for poor mothers' babies more than doubled, from a rate of 2 in 1,000 births for the richer women to 5 newborn deaths in every 1,000 births.
These are scary statistics, of course, but it's important to realize that they don't actually mean that your income will make home birth safe. All that those statistics mean is that many low-income families are at risk for untreated medical conditions that can make pregnancy more complicated or put their babies in danger in a home birth environment where emergency treatment isn't always readily available.
Moral of the story? If you're considering a home birth, don't check the bank account, but get yourself to a care provider stat to get checked for any health conditions that need to be addressed during your pregnancy.
Are you considering a home birth?