Women labelled as low-risk birthers are much more likely to have a safe birth at home, according to new data from the Royal Hospital for Women.
An analysis of low-risk births found women planning to birth at home had a far higher normal birthrate at 90 per cent.
The data has been released as the hospital celebrates its 100th home birth milestone through its supportive program.
The hospital introduced the program three years ago, which gives families the opportunity to give birth at home, supported by a team from the hospital.
“It has been so successful, seven families even returned for a second birth at home,” hospital general manager Donna Garland said.
The data looked at 130 women who intended at 36 weeks to birth at home and 370 similar women who intended to birth at hospital.
Ms Garland said it aligned with international evidence that birthing at home for women with a low-risk pregnancy was a safe option.
“Demand for home births is increasing and there are not enough places available in the home birth program to cater to requests,” she said.
“Women planning to birth at home understand the powerful and life changing event that a positive birth can be and our team are very privileged to be a part of this space.”
There are four publicly funded homebirth programs in Metropolitan Sydney, including those run by the Royal Hospital for Women and Wollongong, Belmont and Westmead Hospitals.
Dr Andrew Bisits, Director of Obstetrics at the Royal Hospital for Women, said a clear arrangement of care between home and hospital enables home births to be considered as an option.
“Women who plan to birth at home have a long-term relationship with their midwife who is with the woman in the lead up to, during, and after the birth for post-natal care,” Dr Bisits said.
“Women find birthing at home calming, as they are in their comfort space and it is often a family experience; something that’s not possible in hospital, especially during Covid.”