CDC Finds Continued Increase in Home Births
Report Highlights Disparities in Access for Women of Color
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 26, 2012)—A report released by the CDC today found a 29 percent increase in home births from 2004 to 2009. The rate of home births among non-Hispanic white women underwent a dramatic increase, while the rate for women of color decreased or remained stagnant, a trend that reflects racial and ethnic disparities in other areas of maternity care throughout the U.S.
“Unfortunately, the women who could most benefit from out-of-hospital midwifery care are those who are least likely to have access to Certified Professional Midwives with the specialized training needed to provide it,” said Susan Jenkins, Legal Counsel for The Big Push for Midwives Campaign. “The CDC report and other research shows that babies born to women cared for by Certified Professional Midwives are far less likely to be preterm or low birth weight, two of the primary contributing factors not only to infant mortality, but to racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes.”
Barriers to out-of-hospital maternity care include laws in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that prohibit Certified Professional Midwives from practicing, as well as laws or policies in all but 11 of the remaining states that deny Medicaid coverage for home births managed by Certified Professional Midwives.
“As we work to address disparities by increasing the cultural proficiency of midwives practicing in out-of-hospital settings and diversifying the midwifery work force, we also need to change laws nationwide so that all women have access to out-of-hospital maternity care with Certified Professional Midwives,” said Jenkins.
The Big Push for Midwives Campaign represents tens of thousands of grassroots advocates in the U.S. who support expanding access to Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital maternity care. The mission of The Big Push for Midwives is to educate state and national policymakers and the general public about the reduced costs and improved outcomes associated with out-of-hospital maternity care and to advocate for expanding access to the services of Certified Professional Midwives, who are specially trained to provide it.
Media inquiries: Katherine Prown (414) 550-8025, firstname.lastname@example.org
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db84.pdf
The Big Push for Midwives: http://pushformidwives.org
NPR All Things Considered story | Jan 26, 2012: http://www.wbur.org/npr/145880448/home-births-grow-more-popular-in-u-s
Recent editorial in the Boston Globe about proposed legislation in Massachusetts which like Ohio has little oversight of midwives who perform home births. Their new bill could make the home birth option even safer.
woman lieutenant governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
On the heels of the news that the home birth rate rose 20% between 2004 and 2008, The News Herald (a news service serving Northern Ohio) reports that many area midwives report a similar increase among home births in Ohio.
"The trend I'm seeing is higher home births," said Tvergyak. "The area midwife I work with said this is the busiest year she's ever had. With so many people out of work with no insurance, they're looking for alternatives."
You can read the full story here.
After 12 hours of labor, my son was almost here.“I can do this!” I shouted. “You are doing it,” the nurses sang back. I reached down to feel his head and, with one final push, out he came into my arms and onto my bed. At home. On purpose.
“You hired two midwives, and they had you catch the baby yourself? You should get your money back,” one friend joked later.
But the truth is no amount of money could have bought what I received that day: an empowering birth that respected me and my baby.
excerpt from the article)
Boston University School of Public Health Professor Eugene Declercq, an authority on childbirth trends and one of the study authors says this “natural” subculture-y characterization misses the point. The women who gave birth at home, researchers found, were mostly white, married and in excellent prenatal health. They were, in the language of labor and delivery, low-risk. Many had a post-graduate degree. And a lot of them had already given birth to one or more children, likely at a hospital. Declercq said that while this study was conducted by analyzing birth records, not through interviews, a previous study found that the top three reasons women gave for choosing home birth were:
So, it’s fair to guess that at least some of the healthy, degree-wielding, not-so-crunchy women in the recent analysis chose home birth to avoid the “cascade of interventions” — including labor-inducing drugs and surgery — they’d endured previously at the hospital.READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY
BY AMBER CRAIG and RUSS FAWCETT
Recent article from North Carolina about the benefits of licensed Certified Professional Midwives.
Read the recent article from USA Today
Why is it important to support licensing of Certified Professional Midwives?
It makes it easier for home birth advocates to push for legislation supporting insurance coverage of home births! This is exactly what the state of Vermont did with a recent bill signed by Governor Peter Shumlin. According to the Associated Press, "Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the bill into law on Wednesday surrounded by mothers and their babies born at home, saying access to midwifery care and home birth shouldn't be restricted to those who can afford to pay for it out of pocket."
Way to go, Vermont!
Read more about this exciting move in the Associated Press article.