SAFETY, BENEFITS AND RISKS OF HOME BIRTH
There have been numerous, well-designed studies evaluating the safety of home birth. Virtually all the research available confirms that for healthy women with no significant prenatal history, a planned home birth by a trained midwife is as safe, and possibly safer, than a hospital birth. Some of the research suggests that labor is more likely to progress normally at home. Studies of midwife-attended births, both in and out of the hospital, also consistently demonstrate much lower rates of cesarean sections, inductions, epidurals, episiotomies and other medical interventions.
I make sure I provide you with excellent prenatal care because this is the best tool available in assuring a healthy pregnancy and birth, and for preventing and detecting any complications before they become larger issues. Thorough prenatal care helps me identify any potential problems or risky situations before your labor and birth so that we may deal with them appropriately. In some cases this may mean that having your baby at home is no longer a safe option and I would work with you to transfer care to a more appropriate practitioner.
Please keep in mind however that unexpected issues and situations can still come up in labor. CPMs are trained to recognize when labor and birth are no longer following a normal progression and have emergency skills to handle these situations. We are certified in adult and neonatal resuscitation, and carry the necessary drugs, oxygen, resuscitation and IV equipment to stabilize the condition of the mother or baby for hospital transport. Most transfers from an out of hospital setting to the hospital are not emergencies, but rather a precaution if there are indications of a more serious problem developing. Hospital transfer for a true emergency occurs in approximately 1-2% of out of hospital births.
I believe the most important factor when deciding the type of care you desire and where you would like to give birth is what you feel most comfortable and safe with.
Links to Resources on Safety of Homebirth