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CNM/CM-attended Birth Statistics

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Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) attended 313,846 births in 2012, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. (This is the most recent year for which final birth data are available.) This represents 11.8% of all vaginal births, or 7.9% of total US births.

CNMs/CMs Represent Majority of Midwives

CNMs/CMs have accounted for more than 90% of all midwife-attended births since 1989—the first year that CNM/CM statistics were made available. In 2012, CNMs/CMs attended 91.7% of midwife-attended births.

Trends in CNM/CM-attended Births

Since 1989, the percentage of CNM/CM-attended births has risen nearly every year. In 2012, CNMs/CMs attended 7.6% of all hospital births, the same as 2011, but a 6% increase from 2005 (7.2%). The percentage of out-of-hospital births attended by CNMs also increased 6% over this period, from 28.6% in 2005, to 30.4% in 2012. Both the number and percentage of CNM/CM-attended births in the United States slightly increased from 2011 to 2012 despite a decrease in total US births. The percentage of total US births increased from 7.8% to 7.9%, and the percentage of vaginal births rose from 11.7% to 11.8%.

CNMs/CMs Provide Midwifery Care in All Settings

CNMs/CMs practice wherever women give birth. In 2012, the majority of CNM/CM-attended births occurred in hospitals (94.9%), while 2.6% occurred in freestanding birth centers, and 2.5% occurred in homes.


Additional Resources


ACNM Online Media Kit:

ACNM Communications Department

Phone: 240-485-1826

Fax: 240-485-1818

E-mail: [email protected]

Consumer Information:


Source: Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, Curtin, SC, Mathews TJ. Births: Final Data for 2012. National Vital Statistics Reports; Vol 62, No 9. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2013.

Updated March 2014


American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818