First, we question the underlying premise of this debate: that hospital birth is inherently safe. There has been much discussion regarding the ‘cascade of interventions’ that has become ubiquitous, at least in US hospital settings, and which culminates in caesareans—many of which are medically unnecessary—for over 30% of labouring women. Caesareans result in substantial morbidity, both in the current and subsequent pregnancies, and interventions drive up the cost of birth to unsustainable levels. This is the standard towards which we should strive?
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Cheyney M, Bovbjerg ML, Burcher P. Home birth is unsafe, AGAINST: safe for whom? [invited commentary] British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2015 Aug; 122(9): 1235.