Pediatricians offer newborn care standards for home births

Babies born through planned home deliveries should receive the same level of newborn care as those born in hospitals or freestanding birthing centers, according to American Academy of Pediatrics policy published in May.

The academy’s statement, formulated by its Committee on Fetus and Newborn, is meant to supplement the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ policy adopted in February 2011 and reaffirmed in 2013. The ob-gyns and pediatricians agree that hospitals and birthing centers are the safest settings for birth. Although the ACOG statement acknowledges that women have the right to make a medically informed choice about delivery, the AAP strikes a somewhat softer tone, saying its policy is “intended to help pediatricians provide supportive, informed counsel to women considering home birth.”

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