Return to Learn > Professional Resources and News Releases > News Releases > ACNM News Releases Archive > 2013 News Releases > New Analysis Reveals Women Choosing Midwife-Led Out-Of-Hospital Births At An Increasing Rate (September 24, 2013)

For Immediate Release
September 24, 2013
Contact: Damaris Hay
[email protected]
Office: (240) 485-1856

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Data Show More than 40% Increase in Home and Birth Center Births

Spring, MD
 - An analysis, Recent Trends
in Out-Of-Hospital Births
, released today by the American College of
Nurse-Midwives' peer-reviewed journal, the Journal
of Midwifery & Women's Health (JMWH),
reveals not only that women are
choosing midwife-led, out-of-hospital births at an increasing rate in the United
States, but also that the pace at which women are choosing this option appears
to be accelerating.

Authors also found that substantially
less out-of-hospital births occurred to adolescents and unmarried women in 2010
compared to 2004, and there were fewer preterm, low-birth-weight, and multiple
births. The analysis confirms findings of previous studies suggesting that women
are intentionally planning most of the out-of-hospital births. In fact, nearly all home births attended by
midwives were reported as planned.

"This report adds to
the body of evidence-based information available for women as they research
their options for the right birth setting and provider," said ACNM CEO Lorrie
Kline Kaplan, CAE. "Women are increasingly choosing midwives as their care
providers both in and out of hospital in the United States. ACNM is working
hard to ensure that more and more women understand midwife-led care regardless
of where they choose to give birth."

Analyzing national birth certificate data from 2004
to 2010, the report authors Marian MacDorman,
PhD, Eugene Declercq, PhD, and T.J. Mathews,
MS, found a 41% increase in the proportion of home births and a 43%
increase in birth center births, with 10% of the home birth rise and 14% of the
birth center rise occurring within the last year.

"Our analysis shows that recent reports of the rise
in home births are only part of the out-of-hospital birth story," said Dr.
MacDorman. "We found that birth centers account for a significant and
increasing proportion of out-of-hospital births and are a substantial
contributor to the rate of out-of-hospital birth in the United States being at
its highest since 1989."

As of 2010, about 1 in 85 US births occur outside
of a hospital. Researchers found that number is highest among non-Hispanic
white women, with 1 in 57 of their births occurring outside a hospital.
Geographic disparities in women choosing out-of-hospital birth are also
apparent, with the greatest prevalence of out-of-hospital births occurring in
the Pacific Northwest and the lowest prevalence in the southeastern United

"States that had more home births tended to also have
more birth center births," said Dr. Declercq. "This suggests that some states
are more likely to have laws receptive to the idea of out-of-hospital births and
supportive of midwifery practice to the full extent of the profession's
education and training, while others may be more restrictive."

A recent study conducted by the American
Association of Birth Centers (AABC) and also published in JMWH, The
National Birth Center Study II
, highlights the benefits for
women who seek care at midwife-led birth centers. Findings also highlight
longstanding evidence that midwife-led birth centers provide safe and effective
health care for women during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Additionally,
a 2013 survey conducted by Childbirth Connection, Listening
to Mothers III
, found that among women who had given
birth in a hospital within the past year, 64% said they would consider a birth
center and 29% a home birth for a future birth.

A 2012 ACNM
of 1200 US women found that half of women surveyed want more
discussion with their health care provider about place of birth-but most women
are not receiving helpful information about these choices from their health
care provider. Through the innovative awareness
initiative, Our
Moment of Truth
, ACNM is on a mission to improve women's health
and maternity care in the United States by challenging every woman to become an
active participant and decision maker in her health and to discover the full
range of options available to meet her women's health care needs.


To schedule an
interview with the authors, please contact Damaris Hay, ACNM media relations
specialist at (240) 485-1856 or via e-mail at
[email protected].

About the
American College of Nurse-Midwives

The American
College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents
certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and
midwives (CMs) in the United
With roots
dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in
midwifery education and
practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are
primary care
for women throughout the lifespan, with a
special emphasis on pregnancy,
childbirth, and gynecologic and
reproductive health. ACNM
reviews research, administers
promotes continuing education
and works
with organizations,
state and
federal agencies, and members
of Congress to
advance the well-being of women
and infants through the
practice of midwifery.

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