New research out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Oregon ranks as having one of the highest rates of out-of-hospital births in the country. Yet even as a leader in the home birth and birthing center movements, the numbers are still very low: only 3.8 percent of babies are born out-of-hospital. That compares to a national average of 1.36 percent.
On average about two-thirds of those out-of-hospital births take place at home, 29 percent in birthing centers, and 5 percent in other locations like a clinic or doctor’s office (or taxi cab, perhaps).
Eugene Declercq is one of the researchers of the study and a self-described “sort of” home birth advocate. He says he doubts the national average will ever rise above about 3 percent.