I've talked to three different homebirth Midwives, and they all agree that their clients have babies that range from 8-10 pounds. Are there many exceptions to that I wonder? Can you homebirth people out there validify that or not?
Interesting topic--it seems to me, also, that homebirthed babies are a bit bigger at birth.
However, I think we would need a thorough analysis, versus anecdotal information, to truly see if there is a statistical difference between birth weights of homebirthers versus hospital-births. Outcomes would have to be adjusted for confounding variables like: smoking rates, alcohol/illicit drug intake, age/weight/parity of the mother before pregnancy, average time of gestation, risk factors like diabetes, thyroid conditions, multiple gestations, etc.
I'd also like to broach a potentially sensitive topic that I've been recently stewing over: I was reviewing the 2005 perinatal/neonatal mortality rates as published by the World Health Organization. It includes all deaths of babies occurring from 22 WGA to 4 weeks after birth, including stillbirths. What I noticed is that the United States had arguably the LOWEST rates of any industrialized country on the list. It's a very long, detailed document, but the "meat" of the study is on pages 29-41 (Annex 1). http://www.who.int/making_pregnancy_safer/publications/neonatal.pdf
Now this is compiled from 2000 data, but it completely surprised me, because I was totally expecting the United States to have such miserable statistics compared to countries like Denmark, Netherlands, etc. But not so!
What of this? Is there a different document that I should be referencing? Or are we "picking and choosing" which data we want to use for our arguments? I'm really not trying to be argumentative or incendiary--I'm a firm supporter of home birth/natural birth options for women. But I prefer to base my opinions on evidence, and not hunches and feelings, if my arguments for the value of choices in childbirth are to have merit.
Sorry for the looong post! Just thinking a lot about it this morning!
Hmm, I looked at the data, I think I saw something differently than you did...."Northern America" still has much higher mortality rates than "Northern Europe" and "Western Europe". I'm not sure where you saw that Denmark etc had higher mortality rates than the US?
People do tend to gravitate to the statistics they want to hear. It looked to me like the US had less still births, but a higher neonatal death rate than Europe. Eastern Europe had quite a bit more in all categories. Stats can be skewed in lots of ways, though, and it doesn't really give you a cause and effect. If you looking for safety issues, you need to be looking at well done studies that try and control for all variables that might effect the numbers. Even then, sometimes it can be tricky. But from what I can see, Western Europes neonatal mortality rate is 2 while the US is 4 per 1000. Both Northern and southern
Europes are 3. This is on pg. 18.
Great question! I had two at home, one was 9 lbs, the next was 10 lbs 1 oz...and no problems with either. My first went 2 1/2 weeks over his due date! The midwives were getting nervous, as the laws in Oregon only give you until 3 weeks before you HAVE to be induced at the hospital. Silly isn't it. I wasn't going to let him be induced, so I did acupuncture, and he came 4 hours later. Just think if I'd had him at a hospital on his due date! He would have been tiny, and probably not fully developed.
That sounds so much like my experience. I am convinced that my baby wasn't over due, but tell that to the doctor. My Midwife told me this time around that she didn't squabble about dates, and that I could pick my own if i wanted to. Only time tells in the end anyhow.