New research: If all low-risk Australian women had home births in 2017, C-section rate would have reduced from 13.4% to 2.7%
Wow. Amazing results of a new study looking at predicted hospital resource savings that could
have occured if all low-risk women in Australia gave birth at home or in birth
centers in 2017.
The study by Callander EJ et al. (Feb 12, 2021) looked at an administrative data set including 44 498 who gave birth in Queensland, Australia between
01/07/2012 and 30/06/2015.
The data was then re-weighted to represent all Australian
women giving birth in 2017
The researchers estimated that if all low-risk women gave birth at home in 2017...
- C-section rates would have reduced from 13.4% to 2.7%.
- Saving an estimated 860 fewer inpatient bed days
- 10.1 fewer hours of women's intensive care unit time per 1000 births.
The researchers estimated that if all low-risk women gave birth in birth-centres...
- C-section rates would have reduced from 13.4% to 6.7%.
- Saving an estimated 760 inpatient bed days....
- 5.6 hours of
women's intensive care unit time per 1000 births.
Well, the conclusion is pretty obvious:
"Significant health resource savings could occur by shifting low-risk births from hospitals to home birth and birth center services"
There are many reasons why expectant parents choose to give birth at home or in birth centres.
But I love that this research gives policy makers who want to make resource savings a strong financial incentive to look at fully supporting parent choice to give birth at home or in a birth centre.
Time for a re-think for low-risk pregnancies, especially when you think about the benefits of home-birth for the optimal "seeding and feeding" of the infant microbiome!
What do you think?
Callander EJ, Bull C, McInnes R, Toohill J. The opportunity costs of
birth in Australia: Hospital resource savings for a post-COVID-19 era.
Birth. 2021 Feb 12. doi: 10.1111/birt.12538. Epub ahead of print. PMID:
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