Anchorage
24° F
Overcast
Overcast

Homebirths on the Rise, and Alaska Leads the Way

Published On: Mar 04 2014 07:07:06 AM AKST
Nina Matthews

Nina Matthews | Creative Commons

ATLANTA -

A new government report says home births have risen to their highest level in about four decades but are still only a fraction of all births.
    
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that a little more than 1 percent of U.S. births occur at home. Experts say they remain largely a phenomenon of white women and those who live in remote areas.
    
Alaska had the most out-of-hospital births, about 1 in 17. Women in remote locations may not able to get to hospitals in time for delivery.
    
In the 20th century, births shifted from homes to hospitals. Out-of-hospital deliveries were down to 1 percent by 1969.
    
But around 2004, they began inching up again and reached about 1.36 percent in 2012. That translates to about 35,000 births in homes and another 16,000 in freestanding, birthing centers.