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The risk of death in a home birth

The idea of a home birth has gained a lot of traction in recent years. Proponents like the idea of staying at home, talking about how hospitals are where sick people go -- not an ideal environment for a newborn baby. They also often enjoy the idea of being in the comfort of their own home during such an ordeal.

Even though those may be valid points to a certain degree, they do tend to overlook one clear fact: Babies are more likely to pass away during birth when it happens at home rather than in the hospital.

Some studies have said that the home birth-infant death rate could be from three times as high as the rate in the hospital to nine times as high. That's a dramatic increase when a midwife is the only person involved in the delivery, rather than a medical team.

One doctor put it very simply. "Home birth is more dangerous," he said. "There's insufficient equipment and personnel available to address complications. There's a lot of hype around it [but] women who are thinking about having home birth should know that if they deliver in the hospital ... it reduces infant death by 75 percent -- and by 85 percent if the woman is having her first baby. These are babies who could be saved if they were delivered in a hospital."

Of course, that does not override the fact that babies also die in the hospital. This can be due to negligence or carelessness on the part of the staff. It's one of the most traumatic things a parent can go through. If you find yourself caught up in this tragic situation, whether it happened in the hospital or with a registered midwife at home, make sure you know what options you have if someone else's negligence leads to a wrongful death.

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