A CDC report notes a dramatic increase in home births from 2004 to 2009. The rate of home births among non-Hispanic white women went up 36%, making one out of every 90 births to these women a home birth.
Some report highlights:
*The CDC report acknowledges, “Home births have a lower risk profile than hospital births, with fewer births to teenagers or unmarried women, and with fewer preterm, low birthweight, and multiple births.”
*The majority of home births are attended by midwives.
*Rates of home birth vary widely in different regions of the country.
The news isn’t all good. The home birth rate among women of color hasn’t gone up. Susan Jenkins, Legal Counsel for The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, says “Unfortunately, the women who could most benefit from out-of-hospital midwifery care are those who are least likely to have access to Certified Professional Midwives with the specialized training needed to provide it.The CDC report and other research shows that babies born to women cared for by Certified Professional Midwives are far less likely to be preterm or low birth weight, two of the primary contributing factors not only to infant mortality, but to racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes.”
Laws discouraging out-of-hospital maternity care are found in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico plus the majority of state deny Medicaid coverage for midwife care during home birth.
About Laura Grace Weldon
Laura Grace Weldon is a writer, editor, conflict resolution educator, and marginally useful farm wench. She is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. She lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm. Check out life on the farm at http://bitofearthfarm.wordpress.com/ and keep up with Laura’s relentless optimism at http://lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/