Thinking of giving birth at home? Have no fear. A new study reveals that labor and delivery by way of midwife is just as safe as giving birth in the hospital.
“When studies are well designed and carried out, the data consistently find that when women with midwives in a system of well integrated home and hospital birth care give birth at home, outcomes are similar,” says Dr. Eileen K. Hutton of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
While not surprising, such findings do offer a sense of relief to women who are planning to go all natural and deliver at home. Previous beliefs about midwives classified the medical professionals as inferior to doctors because they are not forced to endure the many years of medical school that physicians go through. The truth, however, is that midwives specialize in birthing, which makes them experts in the field.
Instead of being exclusively focused on the credentials of those helping in the labor and delivery process, experts say that women should be more concerned about remaining healthy during the entire term of pregnancy. “The ‘challenge’ for a pregnant woman is to stay healthy all the way to term (i.e. 37 weeks), without running into any complications,” says Ole Olsen of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
What are you doing to stay healthy during expectancy? Will you go through the labor and delivery process in the hospital or at home with a midwife?
Photo: The Guardian