Home birth - how safe is it really?

October 01, 2021

Home birth - how safe is it really?

Do you feel anxious at the thought of giving birth at home? Or do you think 'That sounds great...but I don't know how safe I'd feel...'

Pause and think about why you feel that way. Where have you got that fear from? 

We only started giving birth in hospitals in the last century. Prior to that everybody gave birth at home. So let's look at what the evidence says about home birth!

In 2020, The Lancet published a review and analysis of outcomes and interventions in planned home birth vs hospital birth. It found that for "low risk" women, planning a home birth is as safe for the baby - and safer for the birthing woman/person - than hospital birth. Let's look at the stats...

For intended home birth (vs hospital) the evidence showed:

  • >40% less likely to have a caesarean birth
  • >50% less likely to have an operative vaginal birth
  • 70% less likely to have an epidural
  • 55% less likely to have an episiotomy 
  • >40% less likely to experience a 3rd or 4th degree tear
  • 75% less maternal infection
  • >30% less post-partum haemorrhage 

The review concluded:

"There is now clear evidence that home birth leads to better outcomes for women compared to hospital birth and it is time this is given more attention."

So we have some pretty strong stats and conclusions here! When it comes to all your decisions about birth, have a think about what you're basing them on. Fear? Or fact?

If you'd like to know more of the facts and have less of the fear - come and join me on my hypnobirthing & antenatal course! Knowledge is power, and place of birth is just one small topic that we cover. The course is available both face to face (if you're local to or near Tonbridge in Kent) or online, and in either a group or private setting. 

Get in touch if you'd like to know more!

Rachel xxx 

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