Mod Midwives: All About Risk

This week we are trying to break down some statistics that you might encounter when you read articles and reports about home birth–particularly within the context of home birth safety.

We cover a variety of topics:

  • What is risk?
  • Various home birth safety studies, such as Snowden et al. and Hutton et al. (Also, see the following follow up conversation about the Snowden study.)
  • Data quality, especially birth certificate data
  • Absolute vs. relative risk
  • Power (importance of sample size) and sentinel events
  • Balancing–or trading off–one risk with another
  • Digging to the underlying causes of risk (such as delay of transport)
  • Exclusion and inclusion criteria (and the problems with the Wax study)
  • Unintended home births as a confounding factor
  • Odds vs. relative risk
  • The MANA Stats Outcomes study
  • Relative risks associated with breech birth
  • Mandatory vs. voluntary data reporting
  • How the presentation of absolute vs. relative risk can maximize impact
  • How individual risk factors impact overall risk
  • How these risks are discussed with the client in order to support shared decision making
  • How can we improve the systems to maximize safety

We hope this topic won’t bore you to tears. But more to the point, we hope it will help you navigate research about home birth safety and other important topics.