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On the Wax Meta-Analysis of Home vs. Hospital Birth

July 18, 2010

The recently published Wax meta-analysis in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has caused quite a stir, primarily because of the authors’ conclusion that “Less medical intervention during planned home birth is associated with a tripling of the neonatal mortality rate.” At Our Bodies Our Blog, I detail some of the questions raised by this analysis, and why I don’t think this paper on its own actually adds very much clear knowledge to our understanding of home birth safety and outcomes.

It’s a rather long post, but covers a number of issues including the authors’ framing of their findings, the lack of detailed reporting/analysis of methods and data from the original papers, the neonatal death issue, and questions of attendant type and unplanned home birth. Come on over and join the discussion.

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