The Centers for Disease Control says the number of families choosing home births is going up, and we asked FOX Chicago News Medical Contributor Dr. Mona Khanna about the reasons why.
After a decline from 1990 to 2004, 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.
White women were leading the increase; in that group, home births increased by 36%, from 0.80% in 2004 to 1.09% in 2009 -- equivalent to about 1 in every 90 births.
The CDC said that home births are less common among women of other racial or ethnic groups.
Home births are more common among women aged 35 and over, and among women with several previous children.
Home births have a lower risk profile than hospital births, with fewer births to teenagers or unmarried women, and with fewer preterm, low birth weight, and multiple births. The percentage of home births in 2009 varied from a low of 0.2% of births in Louisiana and the District of Columbia, to a high of 2.0% in Oregon and 2.6% in Montana.