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Equally Safe Delivery for Low Risk by Family Doctors, Ob-Gyns

But outcomes for high-risk are best at higher-volume, more specialized hospitals

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In low-risk pregnancies, delivery of the baby by a family doctor or an obstetrician is equally safe, according to a study published online Aug. 24 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

The researchers analyzed nearly 800,000 births at 390 Canadian hospitals between 2006 and 2009. They found there were 3,600 newborn deaths and 14,394 cases of complications in mothers.

The risk of death or complications in low-risk deliveries was the same whether the births were handled by family doctors or by obstetricians.

"It is common to assume that more specialized or higher-volume medical care will result in improved outcomes," the authors write. "The obstetric literature has consistently shown that outcomes for high-risk newborns and mothers are best at higher-volume, more specialized hospitals; however, findings from the literature on low-risk deliveries are variable."

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