In the largest study of its kind, looking at nearly 14 million linked infant birth and neonatal death data, it found the absolute risk of neonatal mortality was 3.2/10,000 births in midwife hospital births, and 12.6/10,000 births in midwife home births.
Researchers at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Centre found the risks further increased in first-time mothers, to 21.9/10,000 births in midwife home deliveries.
(Source: The Telegraph)
One can argue about the necessity of conducting such a huge study only to find out what is common knowledge: home births are significantly riskier than hospital births. In fact, 4-7 times more risky. Why spend so much time and money only to state the obvious? After all, the (loud) proponents of home births have never allowed facts to get in the way of their agenda: putting the needs of the mother (satisfying her desire for an “experience”) before the needs of the baby (not dying).
PS – added 8 February:
A friend pointed out that I failed to point out a sampling bias, and that actual statistics are probably much higher. Women who chose to give birth at home are typically healthy mothers with healthy fetuses, as most mothers with pregnancy issues will likely not take the risk and go to hospital, regardless of their beliefs. So given the vast majority of home births are undertaken by healthy women, the mortality rates reported above are probably lower than actual and the risks of home births is significantly higher.