The Rate of Home Births Continues to Rise

Illustration for article titled The Rate of Home Births Continues to Rise

The amount of home births in America increased in 2012, as more and more women choose to take control over their deliveries.


According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of births outside of a hospital went from 1.26 percent in 2011 to 1.36 percent in 2012, so it's still pretty rare, relatively speaking. Perhaps what's weirder is that "two-thirds of those births are happening at home." So where's the other third of births happening? On the streets?

Research finds that home births are more common in the Northwestern states (with Alaska taking the lead). Interestingly, home births seem to be a white lady phenomenon.

Non-Hispanic white women account for the largest percentage, with one in 49 choosing to have their babies at home or in a birthing center. For these women, there was a jump of more than 70 percent in the number who delivered out of the hospital between 2004 and 2012.

One expert ties home births with the "natural trend" that leads families to eating organic food.



Meh. Ya know, after reading more on the stats and stuff, I'm less horrified by home births than I once was. Still definitely not for me (particularly since I've had a c-section, and am therefore more prone than the average lady to complications), but the risks, while absolutely present, are not as prevalent as a lot of people imagine. (Especially since most home births occur within a quick jaunt from a hospital and the women can be transferred—of course there is a risk of something happening en route, which is why it's not for me, but again, the risk isn't particularly high.)

I'm actually currently seeing a midwife who operates within an OB practice. The OBs are similarly crunchy, and I think one of them put it well "99% of the time, a woman can go out into the middle of a field and have a baby with no problems. But it's that 1% of the time that most people don't like to gamble with."