Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529 688 low-risk planned home and hospital births
Article first published online: 15 APR 2009
© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © RCOG 2009 BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 116, Issue 9, pages 1177–1184, August 2009
How to Cite
de Jonge, A., van der Goes, B., Ravelli, A., Amelink-Verburg, M., Mol, B., Nijhuis, J., Gravenhorst, J. B. and Buitendijk, S. (2009), Perinatal mortality and morbidity in a nationwide cohort of 529 688 low-risk planned home and hospital births. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 116: 1177–1184. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02175.x
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 15 APR 2009
- Accepted 26 February 2009. Published Online 15 April 2009.
- perinatal mortality;
- pregnancy outcome
Objective To compare perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity between planned home and planned hospital births, among low-risk women who started their labour in primary care.
Design A nationwide cohort study.
Setting The entire Netherlands.
Population A total of 529 688 low-risk women who were in primary midwife-led care at the onset of labour. Of these, 321 307 (60.7%) intended to give birth at home, 163 261 (30.8%) planned to give birth in hospital and for 45 120 (8.5%), the intended place of birth was unknown.
Methods Analysis of national perinatal and neonatal registration data, over a period of 7 years. Logistic regression analysis was used to control for differences in baseline characteristics.
Main outcome measures Intrapartum death, intrapartum and neonatal death within 24 hours after birth, intrapartum and neonatal death within 7 days and neonatal admission to an intensive care unit.
Results No significant differences were found between planned home and planned hospital birth (adjusted relative risks and 95% confidence intervals: intrapartum death 0.97 (0.69 to 1.37), intrapartum death and neonatal death during the first 24 hours 1.02 (0.77 to 1.36), intrapartum death and neonatal death up to 7 days 1.00 (0.78 to 1.27), admission to neonatal intensive care unit 1.00 (0.86 to 1.16).
Conclusions This study shows that planning a home birth does not increase the risks of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity among low-risk women, provided the maternity care system facilitates this choice through the availability of well-trained midwives and through a good transportation and referral system.