Explaining the Latest Numbers on Home Births

Health & Family

Despite the noise from midwives and hospitals, the latest data on the number of home births in the U.S. show that very few women are giving birth outside of hospitals.

But new CDC data do show that home births are on the rise, albeit slowly. The rate of out-of-hospital births in the U.S. has increased from 1.26% in 2011 to 1.36% in 2012. The uptick in home births began in 2004, and, so far, the majority of these have been among non-Hispanic white women.

Percentage of births occurring out-of-hospital: United States, 1990–2012

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CDC/NCHS

Percentage of births occurring out-of-hospital: United States, 1990–2012

The new numbers also show that in 2012, the risk for out-of-hospital births was lower than for hospital births, with fewer births to teen mothers, and fewer preterm, low birthweight, and multiple births.

Change in risk profile for births occurring out-of-hospital: United States, 2004 and 2012

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CDC/NCHS

Percentage of births occurring in- and out-of-hospital, by selected…

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