Home birth – evidence and emotions?
Home birth evokes challenging discussions at all levels. It does so despite the fact that home birth for most healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies would be the obvious, straightforward, evidence-based option to go for. Instead, hospital birth is often the standard solution Even though WHO states (2018) that “There has been a substantial increase of labour practices to initiate, accelerate, terminate, regulate or monitor the physiological process of labour” and add that “This increasing medicalization of childbirth processes tends to undermine the woman’s own capability to give birth and negatively impacts her childbirth experience”. Why are maternity care in most Western countries, then organized with planned home birth as a more tone downed option?
Ole Olsen published the first meta-analysis of the safety of home birth in 1997, and has kept the Cochrane Review updated since. Following the latest published version (2012) he decide to do - sort of - an anthropological field study; to follow the evidence from scientific publication, through institutions, informal conversations, and into the head of clinicians, midwives and doctors while noting reactions, arguments, secret fights behind the scenes, incremental moves and changes, and, finally some decisions. Wow, what a journey! Ole will present his work and tell his stories.