TORONTO, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - Having your baby at home is as safe as birth in
the hospital, according to a new study published in the September Canadian
Medical Association Journal. In Ontario, as in BC where the study was
conducted, Registered Midwives are the only heath care professionals who
attend home births.
"Giving birth at home is safe, rewarding and natural," says Lisa Weston,
RM, Vice-President of the Association of Ontario Midwives. "When a client's
pregnancy is progressing normally and she wants to have her baby at home, we
develop a plan together so that her birth is right for her. Many families feel
most safe, comfortable and in control in their own home."
The CMAJ study reviewed five years of birth data in British Columbia, and
showed comparable rates of infant death (less than 1 in 1000) in both home and
hospital groups, and reduced interventions to the mothers in the home birth
group. No maternal deaths occurred.
"Home birth has many advantages for women who chose it," says Weston.
"Giving birth at home avoids exposure to potential hospital infections,
reduces the risk of interventions and c-sections, and allows a full range of
mobility and positions that might not be as accessible or comfortable in the
hospital. Birth works better when women can feel open and relaxed, and being
in your own bed or bathtub can help with that."
Labouring at home, women can eat or drink what they want, when they want.
A home birth allows the mother to have as many or as few support people
involved with the birth as she chooses.
- Over 25 percent of Ontario midwifery clients plan home births
- About 2500 babies will be born at home in Ontario this year,
representing approximately 20 percent of midwifery births and
approximately 2 percent of total provincial births
- Besides offering a safe birth experience, home birth can also
contribute to savings for the healthcare system. For example, home
births with a registered midwife have a lower rate of interventions
than hospital births with physicians; home births involve no hospital
stay for labour, delivery or postpartum care; and fewer or no
subsequent trips to the hospital for postpartum issues.
There are close to 500 Registered Midwives in Ontario, serving
communities in 72 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at 75
Ontario hospitals. Midwives have been regulated by the province since 1994.
A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary
care to women with low-risk pregnancies. Midwives provide care throughout
pregnancy, labour and birth and provide care to both mother and baby during
the first six weeks following the birth. The Association of Ontario Midwives
is the professional body representing midwives and the practice of midwifery
For further information:
For further information: or to interview a local midwife or mother about
homebirth, contact: Joanna Zuk, firstname.lastname@example.org, (416) 425-9974 x2261, or find
a midwife online: www.aom.on.ca