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CDC Releases New Birth Data

December 7, 2007

The CDC has released a flood of birth data recently, including preliminary data on births in 2006, a final report on 2005 births, and teen pregnancy data that shows the rate rising for the first time since 1991. Some highlights from the 2005 data, which is more complete at this time than the data for 2006:

There were 6,722 births to women under 15 years of age, 0.1% of all births. For 6,592 of them (98% of births to <15s), this was their first child, but for 101 (1.5%) it was their 2nd, for 5 it was their 3rd (0.07%), and for 1 it was her 4th child. How in the world, in the United States, does a girl under 15 manage to be on her 4th birth? [Note that the teen pregnancy rates in the relevant table don’t address marital status]

Women ages 25-29 are the most “productive,” followed by 20-to-24-year-olds, then 30-to-34-year-olds.

30.3% of births were via c-section. From state to state, c-section rates ranged from 21.6% (Utah) to 36.3% (New Jersey). Puerto Rico had a c-section rate of 48.1%.

22% of births were induced. While 15.4% of Hispanic women and 19.7% of black women were induced, 26.5% of white women were induced.

7.4% of births were attended* by a certified nurse midwife. 96.6% of those took place in hospitals, 3.4% were in freestanding birth centers, and 1.3% were in homes.

Midwives who were not CNMs attended 10,643 (43.5% of) home births, compared with 4,034 home births (16.5%) attended by CNMs.

1,630 home births (6.7% of total births in residences) are reported as attended by MDs. I’m really curious about this, and whether these were all folks with a doctor in the family, because getting an MD to attend a home birth is fairly unusual.

*Note that attendant data includes “other” and “unspecified,” so the percentages may not be exact if some providers were not counted into the correct categories.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2007 12:16 am

    Fascinating. Thanks for the synopsis. I am in finals, and I don’t have time to read the research. Remind me to read it in a week, because my brain is currently mush.

    I am really interested in the physician attended homebirth number. I want to be able to attend homebirths and other out of hospital births as a physician. (I will be a DO, not an MD). I am a little worried about being vulnerable since I will not be practicing what some would consider appropriate “standard of care”. ACOG amended its position statement on out of hospital birth to support free standing birth center birth, but it still discourages homebirth.

  2. December 9, 2007 9:15 am

    Hilary, the table (Table 27) with those figures also includes a column for DO-attended homebirths. Looks like DOs attended 5.5% (n=109) of home births, and 2.8% of birth center births. Unfortunately they don’t give an answer to the question I think we both have – how did those MDs and DOs end up at home births?

    Good luck with your finals! By the way, if you’re ever working on a paper or study proposal and need suggestions on your lit review/search strategies, don’t hesitate to ask me.

  3. Sheila permalink
    December 10, 2007 1:55 pm

    I am gearing up for homebirth #2 in late winter and have been toying with the idea of sending a birth announcement this time to ACOG for the fun of it….trying to come up with a catchy personalized note to scrawl across it but all I can come up with is “Eat it, ACOG!” How about “Another baby untouched by ACOG, thank God!” Ideas?

  4. Sarah permalink
    December 14, 2007 11:52 pm

    I know Homefirst in Illinois attends homebirths (it’s an MD practice). I thought they were the only one in the country though…hmm.

  5. December 15, 2007 9:10 am

    Sarah, interesting, I hadn’t heard of them. As a side note, I looked them up and I’m a little perturbed that a large portion of their site seems to be dedicated to selling things other than the homebirth services, their “natural pharmaceuticals” store. I understand that a lot of homebirth folks are also into that kind of thing, but I don’t want my doctor prescribing things because she has a financial interest in the drug company, and this seems no different than that to me.

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