US Home Births Up 29%

They're still rare, but number is rising
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2012 6:29 PM CST
US Home Births Up 29%

MSNBC's Vitals blog takes note of a trend in US births over the last decade: more are taking place at home. It cites a new government report showing that home births jumped 29% from 2004 to 2009, mostly among white women. They're still pretty rare, though, accounting for one in 90 births in that group, or 1.1%. Overall, home births accounted for only .7% (or 29,650) of the births in 2009. Even so, the rise is "surprising," writes Rita Rubin.

Generally speaking, moms who opt to give birth away from the hospital are 35 or older and already have children. Montana led the way with the highest percentage at 2.6%. “It’s women who are consciously rejecting the system,” says a Boston University professor who co-wrote the CDC report. It notes that babies born in the hospital were twice as likely to be low-weight or premature. (Read more pregnancy stories.)

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