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Study Yields Positive Results for Home Birth

Author // Jeanne Ohm, DC

The long-awaited outcomes of the statistics registry of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) were published today! The publication hit the news wires earlier today with the results of the largest U.S. home-birth study to date. At ICPA, we are so excited to see these positive results published, as chiropractors have always supported the invaluable services provided by midwives for the safety of both the mother and baby in birth outcome. Because of this, many chiropractors have always recognized the advantages of home birth and have chosen to have their children at home.

In an article published in Midwifery Today  in 2000, I emphasized the importance of co-collaboration between these two professions, as both shared a vitalistic major premise: trust and acknowledgement of the body’s inherent wisdom to function as it is designed to. Perhaps that is why when the ICPA facilitated a survey of midwives’ attitudes and views on chiropractic, there was a significant awareness and experience noted between midwives and chiropractors.

As supporters of natural, safe birthing procedures, we recognize the importance of parents making informed choices regarding their pregnancies and births. When parents take the time to do the research, they become aware that many routine hospital interventions in pregnancy and birth such as induction and epidurals and other overused procedures may have life-long consequences for their children’s future health and well-being. Recognizing the flaws within the technological approach of hospital births empowers parents to make informed health care choices and choose their birth care providers more discriminantly.  We actually recommend she build a team of providers and healthy pregnancy options, which of course includes regular chiropractic care. This is why here at ICPA, we are delighted for this new study to be published.

Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009

Mana reports:

Key findings of the study:
This is the largest ever look at planned home births in the U.S., examining nearly 17,000 births.

This study joins a growing body of research that shows that, for low-risk women, home birth with a skilled midwife is a safe option that has health benefits for mothers and babies.

The study has implications far beyond home birth, because it shows the benefits of normal physiologic birth, which can be supported in any setting.

Today’s study – unlike recent anti-home birth research that relies on birth certificate data – is baed on the MANA Stats registry. The MANA Stats registry contains high-quality data that uses the gold standard – the medical record – instead of birth certificate data, which is notoriously unreliable for studying intended place of birth and newborn outcomes.

More Detailed Findings:

For planned home births with a midwife in attendance, key outcomes include:

  • Over 93% women had a normal physiologic birth
  • A cesarean rate of 5%
  • Only 2.5% of babies admitted to the NICU in the first six weeks of life
  • 87% of women with previous cesareans had their babies vaginally
  • Of the 10.9% of women who transferred from home to hospital during labor, the majority moved for non-emergent reasons, like a slow, non-progressing labor, or maternal exhaustion .
  • At six weeks postpartum, nearly all babies were breastfed. “


To read more about this survey and the results, visit MANA – Home Birth Safety Outcomes

Citizens for Midwifery – Consumer ConsiderationsFact Sheet

The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery provided ongoing financial support for the MANA Statistics Project.

Jeanne Ohm, DC

Dr. Jeanne Ohm has practiced family wellness care since 1981 with her husband, Dr. Tom. They have six children who were all born at home and are living the chiropractic family wellness lifestyle.

Dr. Ohm is an instructor, author, and innovator. Her passion is: training DC’s with specific techniques for care in pregnancy, birth & infancy, forming national alliances for chiropractors with like-minded perinatal practitioners, empowering mothers to make informed choices, and offering pertinent patient educational materials.