Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Research & Data Analysis Division


Publication cover for 'Planned Home Births '

Jul 96 | 7.93 | Online Library

Planned Home Births

Outcomes among Medicaid Women in Washington State

This study describes birth outcomes, maternal characteristics, and prenatal care for women with planned home births who gave birth between 1989 and 1994. Women with home births are compared to other women who received prenatal care from licensed midwives and gave birth in birthing centers or in hospitals. These groups are also compared to the general Medicaid population of women who gave birth. The First Steps Database was used to determine the specialty of prenatal care provider and the birth place type, and as the data source for other measures of interest. The study finds that birth outcomes for home deliveries were striking for their very low rates of poor outcomes. Those who were successful in delivering at home tended to be older, even more highly educated, more non-smoking, and financially better off, compared to those who subsequently delivered in hospital. Results are consistent with a large body of literature which has documented the safety of planned home birth for low risk women when attended by a trained provider.