Posted by Tatiana
I don't know about you, but that meta-analysis that has been all over the news has made me uneasy. I hear the criticisms of it, but it still makes me uneasy. If it is true that there is this large increase of neonatal mortality in home birth, would I really want to be a home birth midwife? I kinda don't think so. I want to think the study is just wrong, but it doesn't satisfy to say, "Oh well, people I respect have dismissed the study, so... that should be cool." I want to be a bit more clear than that. If a client or, say, a policy maker happens to ask me "What about that study published in 2010 about the threefold increased risk to babies in home birth?" I'd like to answer coherently, and in a way that's grounded in real science. Not convenience science.
I've alluded before that I really want a stronger understanding of how studies are conducted so that I can be a better judge of their quality, and I'm not there yet. (Pan camera across floor riddled with toys and clothes to baby cheerfully pinching my arm and erupting with a river of spit-up.) In time. In the meanwhile, I've read a bunch of articles about this study over the last few weeks, and I came accross this reponse today which does well with specifics and left me curious to see what better studies in the future would show:
Planned home birth and neonatal death: Who do we believe? - posted by Amy Romano of Science and Sensiblity
I look forward to the results of the de Jonge and Buitendijk analysis she mentions.