On December 30, the Center for Disease Control issued its Birth Report for 2012.
Of the 3, 952, 937 births in the US, 98.6% of births were in the hospital setting and 85.8% of births were physician attended. There were 50,000 births that took place outside of the hospital setting, with 66% as homebirths and most of the rest in birth centers. The CDC stated that more births took place in the home than before 1989.
The cesarean rate for non-Hispanic white women 2012 was 32.8%, rising from 20.7% in 1996 (a 60% increase), yet declining from 2011. The cesarean rate did, however, rise for non-Hispanic black women (35.8%) and Hispanic women (32.2%) - each hitting an all time high.
The preterm birth awareness movements in the maternity care community may be working. The preterm birth rate fell for the sixth year to 11.54%, down 2% from 2011 and down 10% from 2006!
We must stay vigilant to the trends and continue to present evidence-based best practice as the only option in maternity care, not only in the US but world-wide. To this end, the International Childbirth Education Association is increasing the number of evidence-based researched position papers and these are free on the website: www.icea.org. The number of position papers is expected to grow from the current seven to nearly twenty by the end of 2014.
To read the entire CDC Birth Report for 2012, click here.
To access the current ICEA Position Papers, click here.