Outcomes of elective home births: a series of 1,146 cases

J Reprod Med. 1977 Nov;19(5):281-90.


Medical records of 1,146 elective home births from five home delivery services in northern California were reviewed. Three of the services consisted of family physicians and nurses, whereas two consisted of lay midwives without immediate physician supervision. Rates of medical complications in both groups were low. Perinatal morbidity and mortality were lower than California averages. Fifteen premature infants (1.3%) were delivered successfully. Apgar scores were high. Four infants (0.3%) were neurologically abnormal at follow-up. The perinatal mortality rate was 9.5 per 1,000 total births. There were no maternal deaths. These figures demonstrate that in a self-selected, medically screened, low-risk population, home delivery with medical facility back-up can be a reasonable alternative to hospital delivery. Possible reasons for the good results obtained are cited.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apgar Score
  • California
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Economics, Medical
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Fetal Death
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Midwifery
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Multiple
  • Twins