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New Study On Birthing Risks, In And Out Of Hospital

An Oregon study gives pregnant women new factors to consider when deciding whether to have a baby in a hospital or elsewhere.

The vast majority of women are likely to have a healthy birth, regardless of where they deliver.

But OHSU epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Snowden says giving birth in the U.S. isn’t as safe as in many other developed countries — and he wanted to see where the problems lie. “In the out-of-hospital setting, you saw a small but significant increase in the risk of perinatal deaths as well as severe neonatal complications," he said.

"In-hospital births have a higher risk for obstetric procedures and interventions. Things like C-sections.”

Oregon is trying to reduce the number of C-sections because of their possible complications.

The study found that about four percent of Oregon births don’t take place in a hospital.

Authors recommend expectant mothers have a system in place when delivering at home, so they can easily be be transferred to a hospital if necessary.

<p>OHSU epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Snowden looked at the birth certificates of about 80,000 Oregon women to understand the risks of both in-hospital and out-of-hospital deliveries.</p>

OHSU

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OHSU epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Snowden looked at the birth certificates of about 80,000 Oregon women to understand the risks of both in-hospital and out-of-hospital deliveries.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.