More Women in the U.S. Are Giving Birth at Home

Home births currently account for under 1 percent of all babies born in the United States, but the number is growing.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a 20 percent increase in home births between 2004 and 2008. In 2008, the average was about one birth in 143 taking place in the home. This number was up from the previous average of one birth out of 179 in 2004.

The highest percentage of home births occurred with white women, averaging one out of 98.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has been warning for years that giving birth at home was unsafe due to complications that may arise or to inadequate training of birth attendants. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for women with low-risk pregnancies who give birth at home.

Certified midwives also are assisting with more home births. While that number is increasing, the number of physician-assisted in-home births is decreasing.

Some of the benefits of giving birth at home include less risk of infections commonly found in hospitals, as well as preventing unneeded medical interference. Home births also cost considerably less, at around a third of the cost for a hospital birth.

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