Americans Prefer Birth At Home Now

Americans Prefer Birth At Home Now

Since Covid 19, Americans have made several changes in their lives and a new study shows that they have made changes in giving births to babies also with the country now witnessing more birth at home than ever.

A study in the PEW Research Centre said that both the number and proportion of US home births were substantially higher in 2020 than in previous years.The PEW Research Centre came to the conclusion after analysising data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The centre said that the number of home births rose from 38,506 in 2019 to 45,646 in 2020, which showed a 19 per cent increase. Hoiwever, the authors of the study said that the share of US births that took place at home was about 1.3 per cent in 2020, compared with one per cent in 2019.

BIRTH AT HOME: BIRTHING CENTRES

The Survey states that the number of deliveries in birthing centers rose from 20,043 in 2019 to 21,884 in 2020, representing an increase of more than nine per cent. It said that the proportion of US home births changed as 2020 went on, reaching its highest level after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirusoutbreak a pandemic in March of that year. Home deliveries accounted for about 1% of total U.S. births in January 2020. From January onward, the share of home births grew each month until peaking in May, when deliveries at home represented 1.5% of total births. The share of births at home subsequently decreased to 1.3% in June and remained around this level until the end of 2020.

BIRTH AT HOME: Demographic differences

The PEW Research Centre mentions that the share of US births that took place at home varied across racial and ethnic groups in 2020. It said that 2020 saw 1.9 per cent of births to White women and 0.7 per cent of births to Black women were home births. Among Hispanic and Asian women, the share of births at home were 0.5 per cent  and 0.3 per cent , respectively.

Further, the Pew Centre said that among women with less than a high school education, home births represented 2.1 per cent of all births in 2020. Among those with a bachelor’s degree, home births accounted for 1.3 per cent.

It also said that the growth was greatest among Black and Hispanic women, with increases of 32 per cent  and 28 per cent , respectively, from 2019. The increase in the number of home births was also higher among women with a bachelor’s degree (23 per cent rise) than among those with less than a high school education (8 per cent ).

The Survey showed that white women were over-represented among home births. They accounted for a higher share of home births than for all births. While White women represented 51 per cent percent of women giving birth in 2020, they accounted for 76 per cent of home births in the same year. And while women with less than a high school education represented 12 per cent  of all births in 2020, they accounted for 20 per cent of the women who had their children at home. Women with three or more previous live births accounted for about 13 per cent of total births in 2020. However, this group represented almost a third (32 per cent) of women giving birth at home. Conversely, women who had never previously had a live birth accounted for 39 per cent of all births in 2020 but only 18 per cent of home births. Women ages 30 to 39 accounted for 45% of total births but represented 53% of the births at home.

Geographic differences 

In 2020, the five states with the largest share of births at home were Idaho (3.2%), Vermont (3.0%), Wisconsin (2.8%), Utah (2.6%) and Montana (2.6%). These states also had the largest shares of home births in the country in 2019.

From 2019 to 2020, there was a widespread rise in births happening at home, but the increases also varied by state. The greatest increases took place in South Dakota (which saw a 61% rise in the number of home births), South Carolina (59%), Delaware (48%), Rhode Island (48%) and Massachusetts (42%).

BIRTH AT HOME; DESIRES
  • To give birth in a comfortable, familiar place.
  • A birth without medical interventions such as pain medication, labor induction, fetal heart rate monitoring or other instruments
  • Dissatisfaction with hospital care
  • desire for more control of the birthing process
  • Lack of access to transportation
  • Lack of a local hospital
  • Lower cost
BIRTH AT HOME; NOT RECOMMENDED
  • With more than one baby.
  • Baby does not settle into a position that allows for a headfirst delivery.
  • Had a C-section in the past.
BIRTH AT HOME; NEED TO GO TO HOSPITAL
  • Labor is not progressing.
  • Baby shows signs of distress.
  • Baby is in a position other than headfirst.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • Experience bleeding.
  • develop fever

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