The impact of birth with poor access to skilled obstetric care such as home birth on children’s long term development is unknown. This study explores the health, growth and cognitive development of children surviving homebirth in the Vietnam Young Lives sample during early childhood.
The Young Lives longitudinal cohort study was conducted in Vietnam with 1812 children born in 2001/2 with follow-up at 1, 5, and 8 years. Data were collected on height/weight, health and cognitive development (Peabody Picture Vocabulary test). Statistical models adjusted for sociodemographic and pregnancy-related factors.
Children surviving homebirth did not have significantly poorer long-term health, greater stunting after adjusting for sociodemographic/pregnancy-related factors. Rural location, lack of household education, ethnic minority status and lower wealth predicted greater stunting and poorer scores on Peabody Vocabulary test.
Social disadvantage rather than homebirth influenced children’s health, growth and development.