ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill., April 29 (UPI) -- The safest setting for a child's birth is a hospital or birthing center, but a U.S. pediatricians group says it recognizes some women may desire a home birth.
In a statement scheduled to be published in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics said it concurred with the recent statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that regardless of the circumstances of the birth, including location, every newborn infant deserves healthcare that adheres to AAP standards.
"Pediatricians should advise parents who are planning a home birth that AAP and ACOG recommend only midwives who are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. There should be at least one person present at the delivery whose primary responsibility is the care of the newborn infant and who has the appropriate training, skills and equipment to perform a full resuscitation of the infant," the statement said.
"All medical equipment, and the telephone, should be tested before the delivery, and the weather should be monitored. A previous arrangement needs to be made with a medical facility to ensure a safe and timely transport in the event of an emergency."
After the birth, AAP guidelines call for warming, a detailed physical exam, monitoring of temperature, heart and respiratory rates, eye prophylaxis, vitamin K administration, hepatitis B immunization, feeding assessment, hyperbilirubinemia screening and other newborn screening tests.
If warranted, infants may also require monitoring for group B streptococcal disease and glucose screening, the guidelines said.