Minnesota births at homes and birth centers rise more than 300 percent

Minnesota births at homes and birth centers rise more than 300 percent

Press Release by MCCPM

Minneapolis, Minn.—The number of Minnesota babies born outside of a hospital setting rose by 340% percent from 2005 to 2015, according to birth certificate data from the Minnesota Department of Health.

More than 1.93 percent of births (1335 babies) in Minnesota in 2015 occurred outside of a hospital—mainly in homes and freestanding birth centers—up from 0.57 percent of births (404 babies) in 2005. As displayed in the bar graph, birth centers became available in 2010 when state licensure for birth centers was passed into law.

As the numbers of freestanding birth centers and midwives providing planned home births continue to rise, pregnant people and families have more choices for safe and individualized maternity care,” said Kate Saumweber Hogan, Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife, member of the Minnesota Council of Certified Professional Midwives (MCCPM), and president of the MN Chapter of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives. “The type of care midwives are trained to provide has been proven to reduce complications, interventions, birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section, while providing greater client satisfaction.”

Births occur outside of hospitals more frequently in greater Minnesota than in the Twin Cities metro area. In 2015, 2.09 percent of babies born in greater Minnesota counties were born outside of hospitals, while 1.82 percent of babies in the seven-county metro area were born outside of hospitals, according to health department data.

According to MN Department of Health’s Report on Obstetric Services in Rural MN, the quality of maternal care in rural Minnesota has been on the decline in recent years. There are several possible factors for this, including aging populations in rural communities, obstetric workforce shortages, and costs to implement technology or update facilities to maintain obstetric services. As a consequence, many rural areas have inadequate obstetric coverage. A lack of local access to obstetric services is more than just an inconvenience for rural pregnant people. Extensive travel to their care provider can result in delayed initial prenatal care visits, missed return visits, and late identification of obstetric complications. Beth Bergeron is a Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Midwife, and MCCPM member experienced in serving rural areas of the state, based in Moorhead, MN. Beth shares, “Midwives in rural areas may be providing more culturally sensitive and personalized care that appeals to certain populations and that rural community hospitals find difficult or unable to provide.”

Nationally births outside of hospital settings have increased since 2005. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of births occurring outside of hospitals increased from about 0.9 percent of U.S. births in 2005 to about 1.5 percent of U.S. births in 2015. In 2015, 61,041 births in the U.S. occurred outside of a hospital, including 38,542 home births and 18,892 births at birth centers.


About the Minnesota Council of Certified Professional Midwives

The nonprofit Minnesota Council of Certified Professional Midwives promotes, protects, and preserves midwifery as practiced by certified professional midwives in the state of Minnesota. The council is committed to safe maternity care provided in an out-of-hospital setting. For more information, visit http://www.minnesotamidwives.org.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

August 1-7 is world breastfeeding week, and in anticipation of it we put out a call on the TCM Facebook page asking people to send in their breastfeeding selfies (or even professional shots).

I have so loved getting to see these photos arrive in our inbox. There is so much love in each of these. Sometimes nursing feels like it takes SO MUCH TIME out of every day and night. But then there comes a time where the nursing relationship ends, and then it seems like it went so fast. I have a 22 month old who decided to wean himself at 1, and a 4.5 year old who we ended up planning a “goodbye to mommy milk day” a month before she turned 4! There are times when I wish my 22 month old was still nursing, as I have fond memories of my oldest nursing during those ages/stages. But it is very much a relationship, and babies get to have a lot of say in what nursing will look like for them (surprise, surprise, parents don’t get to be fully in charge of their children, yet again!).

As I saw these photos, along with love, nourishment, and beauty, I also saw a lot of connection. Sometimes nursing can feel like a lonely or isolating task. When I think of all of my currently nursing clients, I bet some of them are nursing right now as I type this. And then thinking of all of the babes nursing in our community, in our state, in our world, there are so many people nursing in this moment! So just a reminder that if it sometimes feels lonely, there are many others in the same boat, doing the same thing.

I so enjoyed these precious photos, and I hope you do, too. Thank you to all of the amazing families who sent them over to share with all of you. (Click the images to expand them with captions.)


The birth of baby M!

Oh this was such a sweet and dreamy birth. It was swift and hard, intense and healing. And I adore getting to watch big siblings meet their little siblings, such a treat! A huge huge thanks to this amazing family for sharing these photos. And tons of gratitude to Erica Morrow for capturing these images and being willing to share them here. Enjoy!

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Erica Morrow, owner of Slow Road Photography, is passionate about capturing all of the stages of new life, from beautiful bellies to birth stories to babies. Learn more at http://slowroadphoto.com/birth-story or find her on Instagram (@slowroadphoto).