PLANNED HOME BIRTH: A REVIEW
Background: Home birth is as old as humanity, but still most middle- and high-income countries consider hospitals as the safest birth settings, as complications regarding birth are highly unpredictable. Despite this there are a few countries in which home birth in integrated into official healthcare system (the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada etc.). Home births can be divided into unplanned and planned, and the latter can be further categorized by the presence of the birth attendants. This review focuses on planned home births, which are differently represented throughout the world. In the United States 0.6-1.0% of all children are born at home, in the United Kingdom 2-3%, in Canada 1.6% and in the Netherlands 20-30%. For Slovenia, the number of planned home births is unknown; however, in 2010 0.1% of children were born outside medical facilities.
Conclusions: The safety of home birth in still under the debate. While research confirms smaller number of obstetric interventions and some complications in mothers who give birth at home, the data regarding the neonatal and perinatal mortality and morbidity is still conflicting. This confirms the need for large multicentric trials in this field. Current home birth guidelines emphasize that women should be well informed regarding the possible advantages and disadvantages of home births. In addition, the emphasis is on definition of selection criteria for home birth, indications for intrapartal transfer to the hospital and appropriate education of birth attendants.
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