Rate of Home Births Jumps 20 Percent

Health & Wellness on 05.23.11


Despite the risks of home births, the number of families opting to deliver at home instead of in a hospital is the highest it's been in more than two decades, reports CNN. 

Between 2004 and 2008, home births went up by 20 percent, reports the journal "Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care" -- this includes a 94 percent jump in the number of white women choosing to give birth at home. 

Marian F. MacDorman of the National Center for Health Statistics led the survey, and said that part of the increase may be due to midwives choosing less risky candidates -- as well as the improved safety of home births -- pointing out that the current numbers are the highest they've been since 1990.

"Women may prefer a home over a hospital birth for a variety of reasons including a desire for a low intervention birth in a familiar environment surrounded by family and friends," MacDorman said. "Cultural or religious concerns, lack of transportation in rural areas and cost factors may also play a role as total costs for home births are about 1/3 those for a hospital birth."

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