HealthDay News — Home births without a midwife or clinician present have jumped 79% in the United States in recent years, findings presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, held from May 2 to 6 in San Francisco indicate.

“Home births that are unplanned and that are not attended by a midwife or physician are associated with higher neonatal and infant morbidity and mortality,” noted Amos Grunebaum, MD, director of obstetrics at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and colleagues.

To assess trends in unattended home births in the United States, the investigators analyzed the CDC’s birth certificate database from 2007 to 2012. Of those, 140,912 were home births. And about 30% of the home births were unsupervised.

Guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) state that hospital and birthing center births are safer. Women who still choose to plan a home birth should be generally healthy, not carrying twins or other multiples, and meet other criteria, ACOG recommends, and should seek assistance from midwives or clinicians.

“Because unattended home births are associated with increased neonatal and infant mortality, further studies are needed to understand the causes of the increase and to assess interventions aimed to reduce unattended home births in the United States,” concluded the scientists.


  1. Grunebaum A et al. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2015; doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000463156.35699.ab