In Out-of-Hospital Birth

A Washington Post article runs under the heading: “Giving birth at home is cheaper than at hospitals, study says, but is it safe?” The study, which is available for free, compared costs associated with planned home birth with a midwife, planned hospital birth with a midwife in women who would be eligible for home birth, and planned hospital birth with a physician in similarly low-risk women in British Columbia, Canada. The analysis included all costs associated with the birth itself, the 1st month after birth for mother and baby, the 1st two months after birth for the mother, and the 1st year for the baby. In all cases, analysis revealed substantial cost savings for the planned home birth population. Write the authors,

This is the first study of home birth to extend analysis of cost to the conclusion of the postpartum period for mothers and to one year for infants. This is noteworthy because “hidden” risks of home birth, that is morbidity manifesting beyond the immediate postpartum period, if it existed, would be reflected in higher costs during the prolonged period of observation in this study. However, delayed morbidity does not appear to be a consequence of home birth.

thereby answering the question posed by the
Washington Post.

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