Health Watch - Pregnancy and Birth: Home Childbirth

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about planning and preparing for pregnancy. Part of pregnancy planning is deciding how and where the baby will be born. Some parents like the idea of giving birth at home instead of in a hospital, but there are risks to be considered.

            Anyone planning a home delivery should have a low-risk pregnancy and should plan to have a physician or certified nurse-midwife present. Dr. Patricia Santiago-Munoz, an obstetrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you should also have a back-up plan for getting to a hospital quickly in case something goes wrong because timing is essential when there are complications. Women with risk factors such as high blood pressure, twins, breech presentation, being overdue or having a previous Caesarian delivery shouldn’t consider a home delivery. Most of the risk of a home delivery is for the child, and the death rate for home deliveries is three times higher. 


March 2011

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