Is the Number of Home Births in the US Increasing?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of home births in the United States has increased since the beginning of the 21st century. After reaching an all-time low during the 1990s, the number of women who have chosen to give birth at home has increased. From 2004 to 2009, the number of home births increased by 29 percent.

More facts about home births:

  • Home births are considered an option for women who are at a low risk of complications during pregnancy. Women who choose home births are likely to be more than 35 years old and have at least one other child.

  • The decision to go with a home birth might have to do with the religious beliefs of the mother, especially if she is a member of a faith that does not encourage the use of medical services. For women who do not have adequate health insurance, home births with mid-wives in attendance might be the only real option. In other cases, the choice might be more related to the desire to give birth in a comfortable setting, surrounded by family members and other loved ones.

  • From 2004 to 2009, the number of home births among non-Hispanic white women increased by 36 percent.

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Discussion Comments


Pregnancy over 35 is an automatic high risk factor that prevents most home birth midwives from attending these births, usually for insurance reasons. Multiparous women over 35 are likely to have a larger proportion of unassisted home births than any other demographic, however, unassisted birth are not counted in home birth statistics, which come from midwifery practices.

This article would be more useful to include reasons for the increase in home birth (and alternate birth center births), which are many, are varied-and are important topics for parents-to-be to be aware of and to seek accurate information before important decisions are made.

Rising hospital costs, MSRA and other antibiotic resistant plagues, loss of autonomy/choice causing PTSD-like trauma after a hospital stay (this problem coined the term birth rape), surgical birth rate nearing 40 percent, massive amount of iatrogenic complications and many more problems within the medical field are among the causes of the increase in out of hospital births.

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