Economic impact of home birth vs. hospital delivery

Section: Revisiones

How to quote

Fernández Aranda MI. Impacto económico del parto en casa vs. parto en el hospital. Metas Enferm sep 2017; 20(7): 68-74.


Mª Isabel Fernández Aranda


Matrona. Unidad de Ginecología y Obstetricia. Hospital Virgen del Rocío. Sevilla

Contact address

Mª Isabel Fernández Aranda. Hospital Virgen del Rocío. Avda. Manuel Siurot, s/n. 41013 Sevilla.

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Objectives: to understand and analyze the cost of home birth in comparison with hospital delivery, as well as the economic impact of home birth on the healthcare system in Spain, and whether it would be sustainable in our current economic scenario.
Method: a narrative review was conducted, based on a bibliographic literature search in PubMed, Cochrane, Hindawi, PLOS and CUIDEN, in Spanish and English, between January, 1999 and March, 2017. The search strategy consisted in combining the key DECS descriptors: normal delivery, labor, humanized birth, natural birth, and economic indicators, and the key terms “home birth” and “cost of home birth”. The search was refined through Boolean combinations of the previous terms. The study included articles which analyzed home birth among their research objectives. There was a separate analysis on the cost of implementing a new service to offer home care to pregnant women.
Resultads: fifteen (15) studies were analyzed, which met the inclusion criteria regarding the economic impact of home birth. The document review generated two categories of analysis of outcomes, differentiated in terms of the healthcare system origin: American and European healthcare systems, and the Spanish Health System.
Conclusions: home birth is more cost-effective than hospital delivery. The differences in the outcomes found are due to the differences between healthcare systems, their respective coverages, the expenses included, and the analysis methodology for economic costs.


Natural delivery; labor; humanized birth; economic indicators; home birth; cost of home birth.; cost of home birth

Versión en Español


Impacto económico del parto en casa vs. parto en el hospital