Selected perinatal outcomes associated with planned home births in the United States

Yvonne W. Cheng, Jonathan M. Snowden, Tekoa L. King, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective More women are planning home birth in the United States, although safety remains unclear. We examined outcomes that were associated with planned home compared with hospital births. Study Design We conducted a retrospective cohort study of term singleton live births in 2008 in the United States. Deliveries were categorized by location: hospitals or intended home births. Neonatal outcomes were compared with the use of the χ2 test and multivariable logistic regression. Results There were 2,081,753 births that met the study criteria. Of these, 12,039 births (0.58%) were planned home births. More planned home births had 5-minute Apgar score <4 (0.37%) compared with hospital births (0.24%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-2.58) and neonatal seizure (0.06% vs 0.02%, respectively; adjusted odds ratio, 3.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.44-6.58). Women with planned home birth had fewer interventions, including operative vaginal delivery and labor induction/augmentation. Conclusion Planned home births were associated with increased neonatal complications but fewer obstetric interventions. The trade-off between maternal preferences and neonatal outcomes should be weighed thoughtfully.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325.e1-325.e8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • neonatal outcome
  • planned home birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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