Among women with low-risk pregnancies, those who plan to give birth at home may face less of a risk from dangerous complications than women who plan a hospital birth, a new Dutch study suggests.
For women in the study who had a low risk of complications and had given birth at least once previously, 1 in 1,000 home births resulted in severe problems, such as admission to an intensive care unit or requiring heavy blood transfusion. The rate of such complications for planned hospital births was 2.3 in 1,000 births.
Home births also had a lower risk of certain less severe complications, such as bleeding after birth, and the need to remove the placenta manually. The rate of bleeding, or postpartum hemorrhage, was 19.6 in 1,000 for a planned home birth, compared with 37.6 in 1,000 for a planned hospital birth.
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