Monday, May 07, 2007

Latest US neonatal mortality figures

The CDC has just published the most recent statistics on infant and neonatal mortality, Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2004 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set. Neonatal mortality for babies born to white women (the comparison group for homebirths) continues to drop. In 2004, the neonatal death rate (birth to 28 days) for babies greater than 2500 gms born to white women was 0.76/1000. This represents a drop of more than 20% from the year 1995. This group includes multiples, breech babies, pregnancy complications and pre-existing medical complications. Homebirth generally excludes these situations. Therefore, the homebirth statistics for 2004 should be compared to a hospital rate that is certainly considerably lower than 0.76/1000.

Now what we need to know is the neonatal death rate at homebirth in the year 2004. MANA (the Midwives Alliance of North America) is in possession of that statistic, but refuses to release it to the public. The homebirth neonatal death rate in 2004 is undoubtedly substantially higher than the hospital neonatal death rate. That's the reason why you are unlikely to learn about the neonatal death rate at homebirth in 2004 any time soon.


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