A total of 64,538 single, full term infants born to women with low risk pregnancies were involved in the study. Factors, such as maternal age, ethnic group, body mass index and deprivation score were taken into account.
Overall, the rate of adverse outcomes was low in all birth settings (4.3 per 1,000 births) and there were no significant differences in the odds of an adverse outcome for any of the non-obstetric unit settings compared with obstetric units.
For women giving birth for the first time (nulliparous women), the risk of an adverse outcome was higher (9.3 per 1,000 births) for planned home births compared with obstetric units, but not for either midwifery unit settings. In contrast, for women who had given birth before (multiparous women), there were no significant differences in the rate of adverse outcomes between birth settings.