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Increase In Home Births Puts Focus On Risk And Midwives, Part 1

American mothers have been opting for home deliveries in ever-higher numbers in recent years. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of home deliveries increased by 29 percent. This statistical trend is drawing attention from medical experts and policy makers.

In short, the problem is that home births involve significantly higher rates of fatal birth injuries. One study from 2010 concluded that home births make a newborn at two or three times higher risk of neonatal death.

Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics addressed these concerns in a new published policy. The policy states that American pediatricians and ob-gyns still believe that hospitals or birthing centers are the safest delivery options. If mothers do choose to forego these facilities in favor of a home delivery, pediatricians should "provide supportive, informed counsel."

Many mothers who choose home deliveries enlist the help of midwives. With more attention focusing on the dangers of home deliveries, it is important to consider the role that midwives play in preventing birth injuries.

Check back later for more on this story.

Source: AMedNews, "Pediatricians offer newborn care standards for home births," Kevin B. O'Reilly, May 13, 2013

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