Skip to content

    Health & Pregnancy

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Home Births on the Rise

    CDC Reports 29% Increase in Home Births From 2004 to 2009
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

    Jan. 26, 2012 -- Are home births in again?

    Home births declined from 1990 to 2004, but jumped by 29% from 2004 to 2009. Even with this increase, the overall percentage of women giving birth at home remains low. In 2004, 0.56% of births occurred at home, and 0.72% in 2009.

    “This is a fairly rapid increase over five years and it is fairly widespread, with increases in almost all states,” says researcher Marian F. MacDorman, PhD. She is a statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md.

    Montana and Oregon had the highest percentage of home births in 2009. The lowest rates were seen in Louisiana and Washington, D.C. “It seems like the beginning of a trend,” MacDorman says. The findings appear in the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association do not support planned home births because they find the practice risky.

    Why the uptick?

    The new study did not look at why more women are choosing home births. “Some women are fed up with the medicalization of child birth, with the rise in C-section, and inductions of labor, and all the stuff they do,” MacDorman says.

    Some may credit Ricki Lake. The former talk show host and Dancing With the Stars contestant got many people to think and talk about home births in her documentary, The Business of Being Born, and its follow-up DVD series, More Business of Being Born.

    Lake chose, and filmed, the home birth of her son during the first movie.

    Who's Choosing Home Births?

    According to the new study, home births are more common among non-Hispanic white women, women aged 35 and older, and women who have had several children previously. About one in every 90 births for non-Hispanic white women occurs at home. The percentage of home births is three to five times higher than for other racial and ethnic groups. In fact, non-Hispanic white women in large part drove the increase in home births from 2004 to 2009.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
     
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
     
    slideshow fetal development
    Slideshow
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    Article
     
    What Causes Bipolar
    Video
    Woman trying on dress in store
    Slideshow
     
    pregnant woman
    Article
    Woman looking at pregnancy test
    Quiz
     
    calendar and baby buggy
    Tool
    dark chocolate squares
    Slideshow