Women have a stronger chance of a positive home birth with their second child, research finds

A recent study has found women having a home birth with their second child is just as safe for the baby and mother, as giving birth in the hospital.
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There’s no hard and fast rules, but the majority of women find labour with their second baby is quicker than with their first.

In fact, a recent study has found women having a home birth with their second child is just as safe for the baby and mother, as giving birth in the hospital.

However, having a planned home birth for the first baby, increases the risk to both baby and mother. There is a higher risk of being transferred to an obstetric unit during labour or immediately after birth.

Babies born at home are exposed to beneficial bacteria that boosts their immune system, study finds

Study finds home births are less risky with the second baby

The Birthplace study found that women who had already had one baby had just as strong a chance of a positive outcome at a home birth as in a hospital.

However, other research says it’s not necessarily to do with whether it’s the first or second baby, home births are generally safe for women who are deemed ‘low risk’.

A study shows that low-risk pregnant women who gave birth at home have no increased chance of the baby’s perinatal or neonatal death compared to other low-risk women who gave birth in a hospital.


Eileen Hutton, who is from McMaster University and the first author of the paper, says women are concerned about safety.

“More women in well-resourced countries are choosing birth at home, but concerns have persisted about their safety,” she said.

“This research clearly demonstrates the risk is no different when the birth is intended to be at home or in hospital.”

“Our research provides much-needed information to policymakers, care providers and women and their families when planning for birth.”

More about home births

Moments after water birth, a baby is on the mother’s lap.

97% of births in Australia occur in the hospital.

Only a small percentage of women choose to birth at home, with a midwife present.

A ‘free birth’ is where the birth at home is intentionally unattended by any health professional.

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