McMurtrie, JE, Catling, C, Teate, A, Caplice, SL, Chapman, M & Homer, CS 2009, 'The St. George Homebirth Program: An evaluation of the first 100 booked women', The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol. 49, no. 6, pp. 631-636.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: The St. George Homebirth Program was the first publicly funded homebirth model of care set up in New South Wales. This program provides access to selected women at low obstetric risk the option of having their babies at home. There are only four other publicly funded homebirth programs operating in Australia. Aims: To report the outcomes of the first 100 women booked at the St. George Homebirth Program. Methods: A prospective descriptive study was undertaken. Data were collected on the first 100 women who gave birth between November 2005 and March 2009. Two databases were accessed and missing data were followed up by review of the relevant charts. Results: Of the first 100 booked women, 63 achieved a homebirth, 30 were transferred to hospital or independent midwifery care in the antenatal period and seven were transferred intrapartum. Two women were transferred to hospital in the early postnatal period, one for a postpartum haemorrhage and one for hypotension. One baby suffered mild respiratory distress, was treated in the emergency department and was discharged home within four hours. Conclusion: The St. George Hospital homebirth program has provided reassuring outcomes for the first 100 women it has cared for over the past four years. Wider availability of this service could be achieved provided there is the appropriate close collaboration between providers and effective processes for consultation, referral and transfer. The outcomes of women and babies in publicly funded homebirth programs deserve further study, and the development of a national prospective database of all planned homebirths would contribute to this knowledge.
Tracy, SK, Dahlen, H, Caplice, SL, Laws, P, Wang, Y, Tracy, MB & Sullivan, E 2007, 'Birth centers in Australia: A national population-based study of perinatal mortality associated with giving birth in a birth centre', Birth: issues in perinatal care, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 194-201.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
BACKGROUND: Perinatal mortality is a rare outcome among babies born at term in developed countries after normal uncomplicated pregnancies; consequently, the numbers involved in large databases of routinely collected statistics provide a meaningful evaluation of these uncommon events. The National Perinatal Data Collection records the place of birth and information on the outcomes of pregnancy and childbirth for all women who give birth each year in Australia. Our objective was to describe the perinatal mortality associated with giving birth in "alongside hospital" birth centers in Australia during 1999 to 2002 using nationally collected data. METHODS: This population-based study included all 1,001,249 women who gave birth in Australia during 1999 to 2002. Of these women, 21,800 (2.18%) gave birth in a birth center. Selected perinatal outcomes (including stillbirths and neonatal deaths) were described for the 4-year study period separately for first-time mothers and for women having a second or subsequent birth. A further comparison was made between deaths of low-risk term babies born in hospitals compared with deaths of term babies born in birth centers. RESULTS: The total perinatal death rate attributed to birth centers was significantly lower than that attributed to hospitals (1.51/1,000 vs 10.03/1,000). The perinatal mortality rate among term births to primiparas in birth centers compared with term births among low-risk primiparas in hospitals was 1.4 versus 1.9 per 1,000; the perinatal mortality rate among term births to multiparas in birth centers compared with term births among low-risk multiparas in hospitals was 0.6 versus 1.6 per 1,000. CONCLUSIONS: This study using Australian national data showed that the overall rate of perinatal mortality was lower in alongside hospital birth centers than in hospitals irrespective of the mother's parity.