More Black people sought births outside hospitals in 2020, report finds

Published April 28, 2022

The Washington Post interviewed Vanessa Barnabei, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, on the increasing number of non-White birthing people seeking hospital alternatives for their labor and deliveries. A report by the National Partnership for Women and Families showed that birth at home or community birthing centers have increased by 20 percent across racial and ethnic lines. The issue arises on how some birthing people need medical interventions, such as surgery or medication. Barnabei said most of the findings of the NPWF were credible, and she agreed that integrating midwifery services into traditional practices can help patients, their babies and physicians. Barnabei did, however, have concerns about the report’s claim that birth center infants were 26 percent less likely to be born preterm compared to those born in hospitals, a stat she called misleading. “They shouldn’t be doing deliveries of preterm births in nonhospital settings,” she said. The story was also published in The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and on other sites.