The ACOG acknowledges that women have the right to make informed choices about home birth after thorough counseling about risks and benefits.
In the U.S., 25,000 births (0.6%) occur at home annually. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issued an updated committee opinion on planned home birth. Because data on the safety of home birth are limited (JW Womens Health Mar 7 2006), the statement relies primarily on a meta-analysis of observational studies of planned home births versus hospital births (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010; 203:243.e1). This study showed that, although absolute risks were low, planned home birth was associated with twofold higher risk for neonatal death than was hospital birth (risk was threefold higher when anomalous newborns were omitted from the analysis).