THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The percentage of home births continued to increase from 2020 to 2021, reaching the highest levels since 1990, according to the Nov. 17 National Vital Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Elizabeth C.W. Gregory, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues describe changes in the percentage of home births between 2020 and 2021 by month, race and Hispanic origin, and state of residence of the mother. Data were obtained from birth certificates filed in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The researchers found that from 2020 to 2021, there was an increase in the percentage of U.S. home births from 1.26 to 1.41 percent, representing a 12 percent increase and reaching the highest level since 1990. For the three largest race and Hispanic-origin groups, increases ranged from 10 to 21 percent. For most months, the percentage of home births for all women increased, peaking at 1.51 percent in January. There were differences in patterns observed by month based on race and Hispanic-origin groups; non-Hispanic White women had more consistent monthly increases. In 30 states, there were increases seen in home births, while 11 states had nonsignificant increases; two states had decreases, while nonsignificant decreases were seen in seven states and the District of Columbia.

“The 2021 level was the highest since at least 1990, demonstrating a higher rate of increase in home births during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors write.

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