The study did not track maternal complications, which Grunebaum said were 10 times greater in the era before hospital births became common. The CDC, however, reports that fewer women in high-risk categories, such as teenagers or unmarried women, opt for home births, and that fewer preterm, low-birth weight and multiples were born at home.
Grunebaum said he hoped the study would allow expectant parents considering a home birth to stop and think about why they want to deliver at home, taking into account the potential risks.
"Many times the same expectations you have for a home birth can be met in a hospital setting if you communicate your wishes to your doctor," he said.
Newborn screening consists of a series of blood tests performed within the first 48 hours of life. The tests screen for health disorders that aren't readily apparent but could prove harmful or fatal. Although most babies receive a clean bill of health, early diagnosis and proper treatment can make the difference between lifelong impairment and healthy development.
As part of ABC Health's focus on children this month, we're holding a tweet chat today at 1 p.m., ET on newborn screening, moderated by Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical correspondent. You can join the chat or simply follow along to learn everything you need to know about the process. Click here to find out more.