Providing Care for Infants Born at Home

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that current data show that hospitals and accredited birth centers are the safest settings for birth in the United States. The AAP does not recommend planned home birth, which has been reported to be associated with a twofold to threefold increase in infant mortality in the United States. The AAP recognizes that women may choose to plan a home birth. This statement is intended to help pediatricians provide constructive, informed counsel to women considering home birth while retaining their role as child advocates and to summarize appropriate care for newborn infants born at home that is consistent with care provided for infants born in a medical care facility. Regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth, including location, every newborn infant deserves health care consistent with that highlighted in this statement, which is more completely described in other publications from the AAP, including Guidelines for Perinatal Care and the Textbook of Neonatal Resuscitation. All health care clinicians and institutions should promote communications and understanding on the basis of professional interaction and mutual respect.

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