Why such differing stances? A review of position statements on home birth from professional colleges

S. Roome, D. Hartz, S. Tracy, A. W. Welsh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Despite low rates of home birth throughout most Western countries, the topic generates considerable debate. This is reflected by the differing positions on home birth adopted by professional colleges representing obstetricians and midwives. We reviewed position statements of midwifery and obstetric colleges in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to explore how the same body of research evidence leads to different positions. Aside from a joint statement from the UK we found widely differing stances, reflecting traditional midwifery perspectives of birth as a physiological process versus obstetric perspectives of potential pathology. We feel the differences in position statements are largely the end product of significant confirmatory bias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-382
Number of pages7
JournalBJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume123
Issue number3
Early online date4 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

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