U.S. births that occur at home are on the rise, particularly among non-Hispanic white women, according to a new federal report.
Home births are still rare, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But after declining from 1990 to 2004, the percentage of U.S. births that occurred at home jumped 29 percent from 2004 to 2009 -- when it hit a record high.
Among the CDC report’s key findings:
• Non-Hispanic white women were most likely to give birth at home in 2009, with one in every 90 births -- or about 1.1 percent -- taking place at home. That represents an increase of 36 percent over 2004.
• The overall percentage of U.S. births that occurred at home increased by 29 percent --, from 0.56 of all births in 2004 to 0.72 percent in 2009.
• Most home births are attended by midwives.
• Home births are more common among women aged 35 and over, and among women with several previous children.
• Home births have a lower risk than hospital births, in general, with fewer births to teenagers or unmarried women, and with fewer preterm, low birth weight and multiple births.
• The percentage of home births in 2009 varied from a low of 0.2 percent of births in Louisiana and the District of Columbia, to a high of 2.0 percent in Oregon and 2.6 percent in Montana.