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US home births rise in pandemic, to highest level in decades

Home Births
Posted at 12:43 PM, Nov 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-17 15:43:15-05

U.S. home births increased slightly in the pandemic’s second year, rising to the highest level in decades.

That's according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Such births remain uncommon.

Among almost 4 million births in 2021, nearly 52,000 occurred at home, up about 12% from two years ago, following a 22% increase from 2019 to 2020.

Although there was a rise across races and ethnicities, home births among Hispanic women were much less common than others, according to the report.

The CDC report does not include reasons for the home births, including whether women lacked health insurance or lived far from a hospital.

Other data suggest that about 1 in 4 home births are unplanned. Another possible factor: the pandemic.

Other reports have shown that many people stayed out of hospitals and doctors' offices to avoid COVID-19.

Home births, data shows, have been on the rise have been rising since around 2004, when it was recorded that close to 36,000 of them occurred.