Babies born at home are more likely to lack pulse after five minutes
The risks attached to giving birth in the home, even with a midwife present, are greater than in the hospital, an analysis of U.S. birth records suggests. Babies born at home are 10 times more likely to lack a pulse and be unresponsive when they are five minutes old.
Despite the increase, the overall risk of such a dire condition was low regardless of birth location, researchers report in the October American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Of every 1,000 babies born at home with a midwife attending, 1.6 lacked a pulse and weren’t breathing five minutes after birth, the researchers found. For hospital births with a doctor, the rate was 0.16 per 1,000 infants.
“It’s a very low occurrence rate,” says Michael Malloy, a neonatologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, who wasn’t part of the study. “I’m not a great advocate of