New CDC report on U.S. home birth

Heading out the door to my office, but wanted to post this for perusing…

Home births are on the rise in the U.S., according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Home births accounted for 0.72% of all U.S. births (29,650 births in all) in 2009. The rise is disproportionately among non-Hispanic white women 35 and older (a 36% increase from 2004-2009).

There’s interesting data galore: about 67% of the births were attended by midwives (mostly) or physicians (less often), while 33% of the home births were attended by “others”–which could be anyone from a relative to a paramedic. It’s the latter category that tends to include unplanned home births (eg, babies born in toilets to very surprised mothers, etc.) and most of the “disaster stories” that plague home birth’s reputation. Reporting is getting better now, less “lump-em-all-together,” which should give a more accurate picture of the risks of well-planned, well-attended home birth in the U.S.

I’ll have more to say on this report later today and tomorrow.

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3 Comments

Filed under Home birth

3 responses to “New CDC report on U.S. home birth

  1. I’ve photographed births at hospitals, birthing centers, and at home. Certainly, the environment at home is less stressful, with mom and dad in familiar surroundings and in control of the what was going on. In all environments, I’ve been consistently impressed with the midwives I’ve been in contact with. My own midwife worked closely with me when my own delivery issues forced me to switch to a hospital birth. A doula, a birth photographer (of course), and well-coached family members can also make home birth a great experience.

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  2. Catherine Taylor

    While I abhor the tone taken by many comments on the blog I’m asking you to look at, this doctor has some disturbing statistics on neonatal mortality at homebirths. Could you please discuss your thoughts on this post? http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2012/01/curious-silence-on-rising-rate-of.html
    Thank you!

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