Anaxagoras wrote:Apparently no studies (that I could find) have compared the risk of maternal mortality between out-of-hospital and in-hospital births, but the risk of infant mortality is about double.
(my emphasis)Wikipedia wrote:A 2014 US survey of medical studies found that perinatal mortality rates were triple that of hospital births, and a US nationwide study over 13 million births on a 3-year span (2007-2010) found that births at home were roughly 10 times as likely to be stillborn (14 times in first-born babies) and almost four times as likely to have neonatal seizures or serious neurological dysfunction when compared to babies born in hospitals, while a 2007 UK survey found that perinatal mortality rates were only slightly higher in that country than planned hospital births for low-risk pregnancies. Both baby's and mother's higher mortalities are associated with the inability to timely assist mothers with emergency procedures in case of complications during labour, as well as with widely varying licensing and training standards for birth attendants between different states and countries.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_birth (with slightly NSFW picture)
From what I read (in French, so I don't link), it is still widespread in the Netherlands: good counseling, good teams to assist the mothers at home, and hospitals at ~ 10 min drive in case of complications, even if the percentages declined from 29,4 % in 2005 down to 15,9 % in 2013.
But some hospitals have also made an effort to make things look less "technical", hiding the gear, &c.