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Home Births Jump 20 Percent in 4 Years: U.S. Report
Date:5/20/2011

However, the controversy about the safety of home birth continues in the United States. "There have been some large studies done in other countries [such as the Netherlands] that found that home births were as safe as hospital births for low-risk women," MacDorman said.

However, she also cited a study published last year in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, which found that home birth is linked with less medical intervention, as expected, but also with a tripling of the newborn death rate.

However, she noted, the research methods used for that study were questioned after the report was published.

Currently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association discourage home births in their policy statements, according to information in the CDC report.

However, the World Health Organization, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Public Health Association and the National Perinatal Association all support home and out-of-hospital birth options for low-risk women, the report noted.

MacDorman isn't sure what is behind the trend.

However, Dr. Mary L. Rosser, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, said part of the trend may be Hollywood-driven.

"When they see celebrities doing it, they think 'Oh, this is a great idea,'" Rosser said.

According to media reports, celebrities including Cindy Crawford, Ricki Lake and others have chosen to give birth at home.

Rosser also believes women who want control of their childbirth experience may be drawn to home births. However, she said, she is "not a fan of them."

When a patient asks her about it, she tells them that the studies conducted on the safety of home births were conducted on healthy, low-risk women.

"I emphasize to people there is a two- to threefold increase
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