Why such differing stances? A review of position statements on home birth from professional colleges

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Journal Article
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2016, 123 (3), pp. 376 - 382
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© 2015 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Despite low rates of home birth throughout most Western countries, the topic generates considerable debate. This is reflected by the differing positions on home birth adopted by professional colleges representing obstetricians and midwives. We reviewed position statements of midwifery and obstetric colleges in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to explore how the same body of research evidence leads to different positions. Aside from a joint statement from the UK we found widely differing stances, reflecting traditional midwifery perspectives of birth as a physiological process versus obstetric perspectives of potential pathology. We feel the differences in position statements are largely the end product of significant confirmatory bias.
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