What to Consider

    In the year 2000, statistics were collected on all CPM intended homebirths in North America. Researchers also reviewed data on all low-risk births that occurred in the hospital for the same year. The study compared and contrasted these two groups and in June 2005, the results of this study were reported in the British Medical Journal. The researchers found both similarities and differences in the two groups. The similarity was in the outcomes of the births: mothers and babies were equally safe in both settings. The difference was in the intervention rates: in all categories, medical intervention was far more likely to occur in the hospital than in the intended home birth setting. For example, in the intended homebirth group, 2.1% of the mothers had an episiotomy, while in the low-risk hospital group, 33% had an episiotomy.
    On the one hand, home offers privacy, familiarity and flexibility. This allows a woman to follow her own instincts without interruption. On the other hand, the hospital offers immediate emergency technology and personnel.
    In rare instances, during the birth process, unforeseen complications threaten mother or baby's life, either in the hospital or at home. The outcomes of birth, like life, cannot be completely safeguarded. Each family chooses the setting and attendants which they feel will most effectively support their birth process, the motherbaby, and the beginning of a new family, in a way that reaffirms their values, beliefs and sense of well-being.