Out-of-hospital birth rates continue to increase in US

A new study released in the journal Birth shows out-of-hospital births in the United States increased by 72 percent between 2004 and 2014.

Authors of the study examined data from the revised birth certificate for 47 states and the District of Columbia, to compare out-of-hospital births by characteristics to hospital births. Here are five findings from the study.

1. Despite the considerable increase in out-of-hospital births, they still only made up 1.5 percent of all the births in the U.S. in 2014, up from 0.87 percent in 2004.

2. Women who gave birth outside of the hospital had lower prepregnancy obesity (12.5 percent versus 25 percent) and smoking (2.8 percent versus 8.5 percent) rates than woman who delivered in the hospital.

3. Those with out-of-hospital births had higher college graduation (39.3 percent versus 30 percent) and breastfeeding initiation (94.3 percent versus 80.8 percent) rates.

4. Roughly two-thirds (67.1 percent) of planned home births were self-paid, compared with 31.9 percent of birth center and 3.4 percent of hospital births.

5. Vaginal births after cesarean made up 4.6 percent of planned home births compared to just 1.6 percent of birth center and hospital births.

Ultimately, the study authors concluded that "Improvements in risk status of out-of-hospital births from 2004 to 2014 suggest that appropriate selection of low-risk women is improving."



More articles on obstetrics:
Mothers are departing hospitals too soon after childbirth, study finds
Nurses protest closing of Memorial Hospital birthing center, ICU
Calif. rural hospital to cut labor and delivery services: 4 things to know

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