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A study in the NEJM, analyzed 80,000 pregnancies in Oregon, and found that when women planned a home birth (not those emergencies you see in the news), the probability of the baby dying at birth or within a month after, though slight, was 2.4 times that of a hospital birth.
On the upside, out-of-hospital births were far less likely to involve C-sections--5.3% versus 24.7% in hospitals.
The out-of hospital births also involved fewer interventions and the mothers suffered fewer tears and lacerations.
Surprisingly, advocates on both sides approve of this study.
Home births are a tiny fraction of all births, by the way--1.28% of all American births.
This was also possible to track because Oregon birth certificates require the mother to list where she planned to give birth versus where she ended up delivering.
So it comes down much risk is acceptable to you. Out-of-hospital death rates (at birth or within month) are 3.9 out of 1,000.
I had a planned hospital delivery and ended up with a C-section because of a huge fibroid that had gone undetected. My daughter could not drop down to be delivered. I am glad I didn't have to transfer to a hospital in an ambulance.
But people will do what they will do. This is a precious little life, though.