- The Washington Times
Thursday, November 17, 2022

The number of U.S. home births reached the highest level since 1990 during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, according to federal data released Thursday. 

From 2020 to last year, the number of home births increased by 12% from 45,646 to 51,642, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

That followed a 22% increase from 2019 to 2020 and an average annual increase of 2% from 1990 to 2019, according to a data brief from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

“The 2021 level was the highest since at least 1990, demonstrating a higher rate of increase in home births during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Elizabeth Gregory, the CDC health scientist who wrote the report.

The report found that home births increased by 10% for White women, 15% for Hispanic women and 21% for Black women from 2020 to last year.

The spike likely occurred as “an overwhelmed health system” made women avoid the risk of COVID infection in crowded hospitals, said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

“This is another recognition that we need to do better to assure one public health action does not impact others,” Dr. Galiatsatos said. 

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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