Why out-of-hospital births are on the rise

Expecting mother
Ina Mae Gaskin shows students how to feel for the position of a baby as she teaches a class in midwifery at The Farm in Summertown, Tenn., Tuesday, June 26, 2007.

The number of out-of-hospital births has increased more than 40 percent since 2004, marking the highest rates of out-of-hospital births since 1975.

While these births are still rare, just 1.36 percent of U.S. births in 2012, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said that "if this increase continues, it has the potential to affect patterns of facility usage, clinician training, and resource allocation, as well as health care costs."

More from CBS News:

Of the out-of-hospital births that occurred in 2012, 66 percent happened at home and 29 percent happened at a freestanding birthing center. Five percent of babies were delivered in a clinic, doctor's office or other location...

Non-Hispanic white women were two to four times more likely to give birth out-of-hospital compared to other racial and ethnic groups. About one out of 49 births in this group during 2012 were not in a hospital. Asian or Pacific Islander women also showed a significant increase in out-of-hospital births between 2011 and 2012.

On The Daily Circuit, we'll discuss this trend and what it says about America's health care system.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.


The Ninth Month
A journey through pregnancy and childbirth, across cultures and continents. (Public Radio International)

Don't Dump Your Midwife
Major pediatric and gynecological groups recommend hospital births as the safest option for women, but it's not necessarily because the birthing skills of midwives fall short of doctors' abilities. It's the home part that's problematic. (Time)

How Should You Choose Between a Hospital and a Home Birth?
Consider your options based on the type of birth experience you are looking for. Many mothers choose an at-home delivery because of the comfort and personalization that comes with the more familiar environment. Women opting for home births may also have the opportunity to switch positions during birth, eat, drink or move freely throughout the experience. (Nerdwallet)