BBC News Article: Home births 'as safe as hospital'
Read this article, then consider that in 24 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are subject to criminal prosecution for practicing medicine or nursing without a license.
Edit: Amy Romano argues why this, the largest study of planned home births, will not sway ACOG.
From BBC News on April 15, 2009:
Research from the Netherlands - which has a high rate of home births - found no difference in death rates of either mothers or babies in 530,000 births.
Home births have long been debated amid concerns about their safety.
UK obstetricians welcomed the study - published in the journal BJOG - but said it may not apply universally.
The number of mothers giving birth at home in the UK has been rising since it dipped to a low in 1988. Of all births in England and Wales in 2006, 2.7% took place at home, the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed.
The research was carried out in the Netherlands after figures showed the country had one of the highest rates in Europe of babies dying during or just after birth.
It was suggested that home births could be a factor, as Dutch women are able and encouraged to choose this option. One third do so.
But a comparison of “low-risk” women who planned to give birth at home with those who planned to give birth in hospital with a midwife found no difference in death or serious illness among either baby or mother.
“We found that for low-risk mothers at the start of their labour it is just as safe to deliver at home with a midwife as it is in hospital with a midwife,” said Professor Simone Buitendijk of the TNO Institute for Applied Scientific Research.
“These results should strengthen policies that encourage low-risk women at the onset of labour to choose their own place of birth.”