Women must think ahead for home birth

March 23, 2011 at 1:50 AM

DALLAS, March 23 (UPI) -- Women considering giving birth at home should plan for ways to mitigate medical risks, a U.S. obstetrician suggests.

Dr. Patricia Santiago-Munoz, an obstetrician at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says women with high-risk factors should not attempt at-home delivery. High-risk factors include high blood pressure, having twins, a breech birth, or being at more than 42 weeks gestation, Santiago-Munoz says.

"Women with a previous Cesarean section delivery should not undergo a birth at home due to the risk of uterine rupture," Santiago-Munoz says. "The main thing is to make sure you have a low-risk pregnancy and that you have a physician or a certified nurse-midwife present."

Also essential is having a back-up plan to get to a hospital quickly if required.

"Timing is everything when something goes wrong," Santiago-Munoz says.

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