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Medical News & Perspectives
February 10, 2015

As Home Births Increase, Recent Studies Illuminate Controversies and Complexities

JAMA. 2015;313(6):553-555. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.18257

Three years ago, the New York Times published an article in its Fashion and Style section, “The Midwife as Status Symbol.” Trendy expectant mothers, it seemed, increasingly opted for midwives to deliver their babies at home or a birthing center rather than choose an obstetrician-attended hospital birth.

The recent medical literature, however, indicates that although home births may be considered fashionable, the decision of where to give birth is not to be taken lightly. Births are inherently unpredictable events, and an unexpected complication without a planned, quick route to a hospital can have tragic consequences.

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