Deliveries in maternity homes in Norway: results
from a 2-year
prospective study.

American College of Domiciliary Midwives
Schmidt N, Abelsen B, Oian P. Safety Issues Safety

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2002 Aug;81


Alta Maternity Home, Norway


BACKGROUND: The study aims to report the short-term outcome for the mothers and newborns for all pregnancies accepted for birth at maternity homes in Norway.

METHODS: A 2-year prospective study of all mothers in labor in maternity homes, i.e. all births including women and newborns transferred to hospital intrapartum or the first week postpartum.
RESULTS: The study included 1275 women who started labor in the maternity homes in Norway; 1% of all births in Norway during this period. Of those who started labor in a maternity home, 1217 (95.5%) also delivered there while 58 (4.5%) women were transferred to hospital during labor. In the postpartum period there were 57 (4.7%) transferrals of mother and baby. Nine women had a vacuum extraction, one had a forceps and three had a vaginal breech (1.1% operative vaginal births in the maternity homes). Five babies (0.4%) had an Apgar score below 7 at 5 min. There were two (0.2%) neonatal deaths; both babies were born with a serious group B streptococcal infection.

CONCLUSION: Midwives and general practitioners working in the districts can identify a low-risk population (estimated at 35%) of all pregnant women in the catchment areas who can deliver safely at the maternity homes in Norway. Only 4.5% of those who started labor in the maternity homes had to be transferred to hospital during labor.

PMID: 12174157