Study finds pros, cons to home birth

July 7, 2010 2:23:57 PM PDT
Giving birth at home is an option more women are starting to consider. A new study finds that there are definite pros and cons.

Researchers from Maine Medicine Center analyzed data from over 500,000 recorded births. Moms who planned home births were less likely to need medical intervention such as painkillers and C-sections. Babies were also less likely to be underweight or premature.

But home births were associated with a significantly higher infant death rate, mostly due to lack of oxygen and failed resuscitation.

Home birth advocates say the number of women who deliver at home are still low, and that makes it difficult to really interpret the significance of this research.