Home birth: safe enough, but not for the first baby

Pierre Buekens, Marc Keirse

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The "Birthplace in England" study compared low-risk pregnancies by planned place of birth at the onset of labor: home, midwifery unit, or obstetric unit. The study showed that childbirth interventions were less frequent in all nonobstetric settings than in obstetric units, confirming what has been noted elsewhere. For parous women, there was no difference in perinatal outcomes by place of birth. For nulliparous women, perinatal outcomes were similar in midwifery and obstetric units, but the frequency of poor outcomes with planned home births was higher. The major strengths of the study are its prospective design and large sample size. The results support providing choices to women, but suggest that women should not be encouraged to give birth at home for their first baby.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-167
    Number of pages3
    JournalBirth - Issues in Perinatal Care
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


    • Birthing centers
    • England
    • Home childbirth
    • Midwifery
    • Prospective studies


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