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Training, experience, and knowledge of physiologic birth lend midwives to be appropriate health care providers to monitor low-risk clients throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. We aim to support physiologic processes, and can recognize early signs and conditions that may not be normal.

In 2014, the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) published the largest analysis of midwife-attended, planned home births in the United States.  The study analyzed 16,924 planned home births occurring between 2004 and 2009. The study provides the content for this page, unless otherwise noted. Please note that she/her pronouns were included in this study and reflected on this page.

A satisfying, safe experience for the birthing person

  • The majority of people planning a home birth gave birth at home.

89.1% delivered at home, with 10.9% transferring during labor, and the majority of those transfers were described as "failure to progress"

  • Low transfer rates after the baby is born.

1.5% of people delivering at home transferred to the hospital in the postpartum period

  • Higher satisfaction rates for home birth compared to birth in an obstetrical unit. 

In a 2011 prospective study of 64,538 births published by the English Collaborative Group, planned home birth was associated with increased maternal satisfaction.

Low rates of interventions

  • High rates of spontaneous vaginal birth.

93.6% delivered vaginally

  • Low rates of assisted vaginal or cesarean delivery.

1.2% assisted (vacuum or forceps) and 5.3% cesarean section rate

  • Low use of oxytocin augmentation in labor.

4.5% of the total sample received this

"Low-risk women who plan home births have fewer interventions without an increase in risk to mothers and babies."

Midwives Alliance of North America

Happy, healthy babies 

  • High rates of term births (born after 37 weeks). 

97% of babies were carried to full term

  • High breastfeeding success rates. 

Nearly 98% of babies were partially breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum

86% were exclusively breastfeeding

  • High APGAR scores.

Low APGAR scores of less than 7 occurred in 1.5% of babies (APGAR scores range from 1-10)

  • Low need for higher level newborn care.

1% of babies born at home transferred to the hospital, and typically for non-urgent reasons

In this landmark MANA study, babies born to low-risk mothers had no higher risk of death in labor or the first few weeks of life than those in comparable studies of similarly low-risk pregnancies.

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