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(BJOG 2017;124:1558–1565)While child mortality worldwide has decreased in recent decades, neonatal deaths are expected to increase from 41.6% of under-5 deaths in 2013 to 52% in 2030. Many births in developing countries still occur at home without a skilled birth attendant (SBA). Prior studies did not show a strong association between lower neonatal mortality and place of birth nor type of attendance, although this may not account for the late referral of women for whom serious complications arise during home birth. This study aimed to determine the beneficial effects of facility births by examining the association between birth place/attendance and early neonatal mortality while adjusting for reported complications at birth.