Home births up, driven by natural birth subculture

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ATLANTA - Home births rose 20 percent over four years ...

Fewer than 1 percent of U.S. births occur at home. But the proportion is clearly going up ...

The increase was driven by white women ...

... "I think there's more of a natural birth subculture going on with white women — an interest in a low-intervention birth in a familiar setting,"

... 27 states had significant increases during those four years. Montana, Vermont and Oregon had the most home births — about 1 in 50 births were at home in those states.

Alaska's rate was nearly as high, and it's clear that some home births occur because women are in remote locations and are not able to get to hospitals in time for delivery.

The increase is notable because doctors groups have been increasingly vocal about opposing home births, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has for years warned against home births, arguing they can be unsafe, especially if the mother has high-risk medical conditions, if the attendant is inadequately trained or if there's no quick way to get mother and child to a hospital if something goes awry ...