Main outcome measures: Third- and fourth-degree perineal injury, requirement for high level of neonatal resuscitation, Apgar score < 7 at 5 minutes, admission to neonatal intensive care unit or special care nursery, and perinatal death.
Results: 31.4% of the term singleton births occurred in private hospitals. After adjusting for maternal age, Indigenous status, parity, smoking status, diabetes, hypertension, remoteness of usual residence, and method of birth, the rates of all adverse outcomes studied were higher for public hospital births. For women, the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for third- or fourth-degree perineal injury was 2.28 (95% CI, 2.16–2.40). For babies, the odds of a high level of resuscitation (AOR, 2.37; 95% CI, 2.17–2.59), low Apgar score (AOR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.65–1.84), intensive care requirement (AOR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.45–1.51) and perinatal death (AOR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.78–2.29) were all higher in public hospitals.
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