Policies about place of delivery have tended to be formulated without either looking at existing evidence or doing new research into the relative safety for women and babies of delivery in different settings. This article reviews published research on the subject, and finds that many of the data required have not been collected. Furthermore, many analyses fail to take account of selection biases or differences in the birthweight distribution and the incidence of congenital malformations among babies born in different settings. Nevertheless, some tentative conclusions can be drawn. The available evidence does not support claims that, for the baby, the iatrogenic risks of obstetric intervention outweigh the possible benefits. At the same time, there is no evidence to support the claim that the shift to hospital delivery is responsible for the decline in perinatal mortality in England and Wales nor the claim that the safest policy is for all women to be delivered in hospital.
|Translated title of the contribution||Place of delivery: a review|
|Pages (from-to)||675 - 683|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1986|