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Home Birth with Competent Attendant Vs. Hospital Birth

John Blockert, director of the Utah State Health Department Bureau of Vital Records, presented a report comparing neonatal death rates of Utah planned home births with those of Utah hospital births.  He selected a span of time which managed to cover the entire time records were available.  He looked at two time periods, 1989-1990 and 1991-1992.  His findings regarding Neonatal Death Rates in Utah, which is constituted as Deaths of infants during birth and through 28 days of postpartum per 1000 live births.  The first time period demonstrated that infant deaths resulting from planned home births occurred at half the rate of hospital births.  During the second time period the hospital neonatal death rate in Utah remained quite steady at about 2 per 1000 while the Planned Home Births dropped to zero. 

A study was conducted by Lewis Mehl comparing two groups each of 1,046 subjects.  One group all had planned home births while the other all had hospital births.  The mothers were matched for every known variable known at the time to influence maternal and newborn outcomes.  Below are the results:

Negative outcomes  Analysis
 Shoulder Dystocia  8x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Fetal Distress  6x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Babies Requiring Resuscitation  3.7x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Birth Injuries (To Newborns)  only OCCURRED in HOSPITAL
 Infection Rates in Newborns (NB)  4x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Meconium Aspiration Pneumonia in NB  2.5x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Respiratory Distress in NB  17x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Apgar Scores  Significantly WORSE in HOSPITAL
 Maternal High Blood Pressure  5x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Meconium Staining (Fetal Distress)  3.5x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Maternal Postpartum Hemorrhage  3x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Cesarean Rate  3x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Episiotomy Rate  9x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Rate of 3rd Degree Tear (Into Anal Sphincter)  3x HIGHER in HOSPITAL
 Forceps Rate  21.4x HIGHER in HOSPITAL

Learn More About Home Birth Vs. Hospital Birth in the State of Utah