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Evid Based Med doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101063
  • Therapeutics
  • Systematic review with meta-analysis

Home-like environments for labour and birth: benefits for women and babies

  1. Caroline S E Homer
  1. Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health, University of Technology, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to : Caroline S E Homer
    Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health, University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 123, Ultimo, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia; caroline.homer{at}uts.edu.au

Commentary on: Hodnett ED, Downe S, Walsh D. Alternative versus conventional institutional settings for birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012;8:CD000012

Context

In the past 100 years, care for women during labour and birth has moved from home to hospital labour wards.1 Spaces to give birth in a hospital are often technological, with childbirth seen as a medical condition.2 These changes have occurred despite the knowledge that the environment in which health care occurs affects a patient's health and safety, effectiveness of care, staff efficiency and morale.3 In maternity care settings, women's feelings of safety and satisfaction with their experience of birth are influenced by the physical environment for labour and birth.4 ,5

Over the past 20 years, there have been efforts in a number of countries to recreate a more homely atmosphere for women giving birth. …

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