A home birth is just as safe as one in a hospital and may even be safer, research from three countries has confirmed.

The findings should have major implications for modern medicine, which has completely taken over the prenatal care and birth process.

A doctor has no right to refuse a home birth to a woman if she is healthy, and has a low risk of complications, the researchers conclude.

They found that planned home births were the safest of all the options, including hospital. The figures were distorted in the largest study involving 558,691 registered births in

the Northern regional health authority in Britain because the figures included unplanned home births. Of the 3,466 births outside hospital, there were 134 perinatal deaths, but 131 of these were among women who were booked for a hospital delivery but went into labour prematurely.

These findings were in line with research from Switzerland and Holland

!ABMJ, 1996; 313: 1302-18.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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