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Breaking down why at-home birth rates are up despite recommendations to avoid the practice

The CDC reports home births in the United States rose 12 percent from 2020 to 2021, and reached the highest level since at least 1990.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Dr. Gregg Silverman and John-Thomas Kobos look at why doctors do not recommend home births and what to consider if you choose to stay away from the hospital.

This comes after a report by the CDC showing home births at their highest rate since 1990 when tracking started.

Other findings from the report show the 12 percent increase in home births from 2020 to 2021 follows a 22 percent increase from 2019 to 2020, with increases by maternal race and Hispanic origin ranging from 21 percent-36 percent. 

Other findings from the study revealed:

  • There were 51,642 home births in 2021, an increase of 13% from 2020 (45,646). This increase followed a 19% rise in the number of home births from 2019 (38,506) to 2020.
  • For (non-Hispanic) White women, the percentage of home births increased 10%, from about 1.9% of all births in 2020 to almost 2.1% in 2021. This followed a 21% increase from 2019 (1.55%) to 2020.
  • Home births among (non-Hispanic) Black women increased 21%, from 0.68% to 0.82% of all births from 2020 to 2021. The percentage of home births increased 36% from 2019 (0.50%) to 2020.
  • For Hispanic women, home births increased from 0.48% in 2020 to 0.55% in 2021, an increase of 15%. The percentage of home births increased 30% from 2019 (0.37%) to 2020.

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