More women are choosing to birth at home in well-resourced countries. Concerns persist that out-of-hospital birth contributes to higher perinatal and neonatal mortality. This systematic review and meta-analyses determines if risk of fetal or neonatal loss differs among low-risk women who begin labour intending to give birth at home compared to low-risk women intending to give birth in hospital.
In April 2018 we searched five databases from 1990 onward and used R to obtain pooled estimates of effect. We stratified by study design, study settings and parity. The primary outcome is any perinatal or neonatal death after the onset of labour. The study protocol is peer-reviewed, published and registered (PROSPERO No.CRD42013004046).