home birth

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Conduct of labor and childbirth at home, supervised by a midwife, or in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands until the recent past, a family doctor. Provided dangerous complications such as prolapsed umbilical cord or severe postpartum hemorrhage do not occur, home birth is usually safe, exposes the mother and neonate to less risk of cross-infection than a hospital or birthing center, and is said to be a valuable bonding experience for other family members in attendance. Dangerous obstetric complications can occur, even in apparently low-risk women, so home birthing is safest when well-equipped and staffed obstetric services are readily available and accessible.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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