For low-risk women, having a baby at home is as safe as giving birth at a hospital with a midwife, says a study that looked at 530,000 births in the Netherlands, which has a high rate of home births.
The safety of home births has long been a subject of debate, but this study found that home birth did not increase the risk of death or serious illness among mothers and babies, BBC News reported.
The study was published in the journal BJOG.
"We found that for low-risk mothers at the start of their labor, it is just as safe to deliver at home with a midwife as it is in hospital with a midwife," said Professor Simone Buitendijk, of the TNO Institute for Applied Scientific Research, BBC News reported.
"These results should strengthen policies that encourage low-risk women at the onset of labor to choose their own place of birth," Buitendijk added.