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More Moms Give Birth at Home

Friday, 27 January 2012 12:14 PM

Home births rose 29 percent from 2004 to 2009, to almost three quarters of a percent of all U.S. live deliveries, the highest level since 1989, according to health authorities.
They were most common among non-Hispanic white women, where about 1 in 90 births are at home, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. Also, women ages 35 and older who already had children were more likely than others to have chosen a birth at home rather than a hospital.
In 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 29,650 babies born at home, the highest level since the NCHS began collecting data in 1989. Over 60 percent of the deliveries were attended by midwives, 5 percent by physicians, and 33 percent by “others,” including family members or emergency medical technicians. Most of the non-hospital births were planned, according to the report.
“Women may prefer a home birth over a hospital birth for a variety of reasons, including a desire for a low-intervention birth in a familiar environment,” the authors of the report wrote. They may also deliver at home for religious reasons or a lack of transportation in rural areas.
Fewer babies born outside a hospital were to unmarried mothers or teenagers, the report said. In addition, the babies were less likely to be preterm, low birth weight or multiple births, which suggests that home birth attendants are screening women, preferring those who were low risk, the report said.
In 2009, Montana had the highest percentage of home births with 2.6 percent, followed by Oregon and Vermont.
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Home births hit highs in the United States, to almost three quarters of a percent.
Friday, 27 January 2012 12:14 PM
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