Evidence on the Benefits of Doulas and Home Birth

Rebecca Decker, Evidence Based Birth, Evidence on Doulas. This article explains what doulas do and summarizes the research that shoes that doula support improves birth outcomes.

Rebecca Decker, Evidence Based Birth, What is Home Birth? from Evidence Based Birth. A summary of who is a good candidate for birth at home, why people choose home birth, the type of care provided, and your different midwife options.

Cheney et al. Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009 (2014). A peer-reviewed article in  Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health (JMWH), confirms that among low-risk women, planned home births result in low rates of interventions without an increase in adverse outcomes for mothers and babies.

Eileen K. Hutton, The Safety of Home Birth (2016). This study compared 11,493 planned home births at labor onset attended by midwives matched to women who would have been eligible for home birth but planned hospital births with those same midwives (Canada). The study found no differences in intrapartum deaths, perinatal deaths (intrapartum + neonatal death), or neonatal deaths.

Kenneth C. Johnson & Betty-Anne Daviss, Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America. This prospective study of 5,418 U.S. women who gave birth at home under the care of CPMs found that 12% of women had to transfer to the hospital during labor or after birth. About 9% or three-fourths of these transfers were considered non-urgent. The most common non-urgent reasons for transfer were failure to progress (5.7%), pain relief (2.2%), and maternal exhaustion (2.1%). Approximately 3% of women experienced an urgent transfer to the hospital. The most common reasons for urgent transfer were sustained fetal distress (0.6% of all births), baby’s head not presenting in an optimal position (0.4%), and maternal bleeding after birth (0.4%).

Henci Goer, Dueling Statistics: Is Out-of-Hospital Birth Safe?. This article explains how different studies on home birth reach different conclusions using similar data.