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This excerpt is from ICAN, posted February 28, 2014. See the full article here.
by Karen Troy, PhD
The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) recently published data from a large and well-tracked series of planned home births, the result of a home birth registry program that was initiated in 2004 (1). The data set included nearly 17,000 planned home births attended by a mix of midwives including CPMs (79%), CNMs (15%), and other unlicensed midwives. Within this cohort were 1054 women with a history of cesarean section who were planning a vaginal birth after cesarean – VBAC – at home. (This is also referred to within the birth community as "HBAC" – home birth after cesarean). Within this subgroup, 87% had successful vaginal births, with 94% of those births occurring at home and the remaining 6% occurring after a transfer to a local hospital. This success rate is substantially higher than the 60-80% success rate reported across other large hospital-based cohorts (2) and likely reflects the high level of commitment to and support of natural birth, both from the mothers and their care providers.
A landmark study published June 18 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) shows planned home births with Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) result in significantly lower cesarean rates than planned hospital births.
The 2000 study by a Canadian epidemiologist and a CPM tracked more than 5,000 pregnant women in the United States and Canada planning home birth. The result was a 3.7 percent cesarean rate among all mothers and a 1.7 percent cesarean rate among women who previously gave birth vaginally.
(Read the rest of the