CDC data: home birth on the rise

The CDC released new data today on home births in the U.S., finding that “the percentage of U.S. births that occurred at home increased by 29%, from 0.56% of births in 2004 to 0.72% in 2009.”  This increase mostly represents non-Hispanic white women.

The report says “Women may prefer a home birth over a hospital birth for a variety of reasons, including a desire for a low-intervention birth in a familiar environment surrounded by family and friends, and cultural or religious concerns.”

We don’t know how many Pagans choose home birth, but we do know that Pagans are highly likely to prefer unmedicated births attended by midwives.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get that kind of birth at a birth center or a hospital, but it is certainly the norm for home births.

According to the CDC report, “In 2009, 62% of home births were attended by midwives: 19% by certified nurse midwives and 43% by other midwives (such as certified professional midwives or direct-entry midwives). Among hospital births, only 7% were attended by midwives.”

Did you plan a home birth?  Was it motivated by Paganism or did you have other reasons?

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About Sarah Whedon

Sarah Whedon is founding editor of Pagan Families, the author of Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year, and former Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in the Boston area with her partner and their children.