Trends in Midwife-Attended Births in the United States, 1989-2009

Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
Journal of midwifery & women's health (Impact Factor: 1.07). 06/2012; 57(4):321-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1542-2011.2012.00198.x
Source: PubMed


Data on attendance at birth by midwives in the United States have been available on the national level since 1989. Rates of certified nurse-midwife (CNM)-attended births more than doubled between 1989 (3.3% of all births) and 2002 (7.7%) and have remained steady since. This article examines trends in midwife-attended births from 1989 to 2009.
The data in this report are based on records gathered as part of the US National Standard Certificate of Live Birth from a public use Web site, Vital Stats (, that allows users to create and download specialized tables.
Between 2007 and 2009, the proportion of all births attended by CNMs increased by 4% from 7.3% of all births to 7.6% and a total of 313,516. This represents a decline in total births attended by CNMs from 2008 but a higher proportion of all births because total US births dropped at a faster rate. The proportion of vaginal births attended by CNMs reached an all-time high of 11.4% in 2009. There were strong regional patterns to the distribution of CNM-attended births. Births attended by "other midwives" rose to 21,787 or 0.5% of all US births, and the total proportion of all births attended by midwives reached an all-time high of 8.1%. The race/ethnicity of mothers attended by CNMs has shifted over the years. In 1990, CNMs attended a disproportionately high number of births to non-white mothers, whereas in 2009, the profile of CNM births mirrors the national distribution in race/ethnicity.
Midwife-attended births in the United States are increasing. The geographic patterns in the distribution of midwife-attended births warrant further study.

11 Reads
  • Source

    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Health Affairs

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of midwifery & women's health
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is no Australian data on the characteristics of women who consult with midwives. To determine the profile of women who consult midwives in Australia. This cross-sectional research was conducted as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). Participants were the younger (31-36 years) cohort of the ALSWH who completed a survey in 2009, and indicated that they were currently pregnant (n=801). The main outcome measure was consultation with a midwife. Of the 801 women who indicated that they were currently pregnant at the time of the survey, 19%, 42%, and 70% of women in the first, second and third trimesters respectively had consulted with a midwife. Women were more likely to consult a midwife if they: also consulted with a hospital doctor (OR=2.70, 95% CI: 1.66, 4.40); also consulted with a complementary and alternative medicine practitioner (OR=1.94, 95% CI: 1.25, 3.03); were depressed (OR=1.84, 95% CI: 1.03, 3.28); constipated (OR=1.80, 95% CI: 1.04, 3.13); or had been diagnosed or treated for hypertension during pregnancy (OR=2.78, 95% CI: 1.27, 6.09). Women were less likely (OR=0.34, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.56) to consult with a midwife if they had private health insurance. Women were more likely to consult with midwives in conjunction with consultations with hospital doctors or complementary and alternative medicine practitioners. Women with private health insurance were less likely to consult midwives. More research is necessary to determine the implications of the lack of midwifery care for these women.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Women and Birth
Show more