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Maternal factors and the probability of a planned home birth

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Author: Anthony, S. · Buitendijk, S.E. · Offerhaus, P.M. · Dommelen, P. van · Pal-de Bruin, K.M. van der
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:British journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, 6, 112, 748-753
Identifier: 277440
doi: doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2004.00520.x
Keywords: Health · Demography · Ethnology · Home delivery · Hospitalization · Human experiment · Midwife · Normal human · Obstetrics · Patient attitude · Probability · Urbanization · Adult · Cross-Sectional Studies · Female · Home Childbirth · Humans · Maternal Age · Mothers · Netherlands · Nurse Midwives · Parity · Patient Care Planning · Pregnancy · Prenatal Care · Referral and Consultation · Residence Characteristics · Rural Health · Urban Health


Objectives: In the Netherlands, approximately one-third of births are planned home births, mostly supervised by a midwife. The relationship between maternal demographic factors and home births supervised by midwives was examined. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Dutch national perinatal registries of the year 2000. Population: All women starting their pregnancy care under the supervision of a midwife, because these women have the possibility of having a planned home birth. Methods: The possible groups of birth were as follows: planned home birth or short stay hospital birth, both under the supervision of a midwife, or hospital birth under the supervision of an obstetrician after referral from the midwife during pregnancy or birth. The studied demographic factors were maternal age, parity, ethnicity and degree of urbanisation. Probabilities of having a planned home birth were calculated for women with different demographic profiles. Main outcome measure: Place of birth. Results: In all age groups, the planned home birth percentage in primiparous women was lower than in multiparous women (23.5% vs 42.8%). A low home birth percentage was observed in women younger than 25 years. Dutch and non-Dutch women showed almost similar percentages of obstetrician-supervised hospital births but large differences in percentage of planned home births (36.5% vs 17.3%). Fewer home births were observed in large cities (30.5%) compared with small cities (35.7%) and rural areas (35.8%). Conclusions: This study demonstrates a clear relationship between maternal demographic factors and the place of birth and type of caregiver and therefore the probability of a planned home birth. © RCOG 2004.