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Publicly funded homebirth in Australia: a review of maternal and neonatal outcomes over 6 years

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Internationally, there is ongoing debate about place of birth,1 including homebirth,25 birth centres,6,7 stand-alone units,8 and small maternity units.9 The debate is polarised by different professional groups with divergent views.1012 Homebirth is explicitly endorsed in a number of countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and New Zealand, but is not endorsed in Australia.10 The main issues in Australia centre around the risks to the baby, with higher perinatal mortality rates reported in some studies of homebirth,13,14 although the evidence surrounding the safety and benefits of homebirth remains contentious.1517 To date, no randomised controlled trials have been undertaken