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Are Home Births Safe?

Many women successfully and safely deliver at home. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does warn that while the absolute risk is low, home births do carry a two- to three-fold increase in the risk of newborn death compared with planned hospital deliveries, OB-GYN Pamela Berens observes.

“There are certain situations where a hospital birth is necessary, such as when the placenta is implanted too low, requiring cesarean delivery,” says Berens, based in Houston with the University of Texas Medical School. Ultimately, deciding to give birth at home is an individual decision and should be discussed with the pregnant woman’s care provider.

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