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Home birth on the rise by a dramatic 20%

The Seattle Times/Associated Press, July 6, 2011

Home births increased 20% from 2004 to 2008, accounting for 28,357 of 4.2 million U.S. births, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in May. White women led the drive, with 1 in 98 having babies at home in 2008, compared to 1 in 357 black women and 1 in 500 Hispanic women. Sherry Hopkins, a Las Vegas midwife, said the women whose home births she's attended include a pediatrician, an emergency room doctor and nurses. "We're definitely seeing well-educated and well-informed people who want to give birth at home," she said. Robbie Davis-Floyd, a medical anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin and researcher on global trends in childbirth, obstetrics and midwifery, said "at first, in the 1970s, it was largely a hippie, countercultural thing to give birth outside of the hospital. Over the years, as the formerly 'lay' midwives have become far more sophisticated, so has their clientele."