US home births rise in pandemic, to highest level in decades

U.S. home births increased slightly in the pandemic’s second year, rising to the highest level in decades. That's according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such births remain uncommon. Among almost 4 million births in 2021, nearly 52,000 occurred at home. The CDC report does not include reasons for the home births, including whether women lacked health insurance or lived far from a hospital. Other data suggest that about 1 in 4 home births are unplanned. Another possible factor: the pandemic. Other reports have shown that many people stayed out of hospitals and doctors' offices to avoid COVID-19.