Our Local Out-of-Hospital Birth Statistics | Tampa Bay Midwife

In keeping with my transparency promise, I am bringing you some more VERY exciting stats that I have been wanting to collect and publish for quite some time. This is a follow up to my personal 2013-2014 stats which I published in September

I am sure you have heard the national statistics that "less than 1%" of births in the United States occur outside of a hospital. In recent years I have heard that number quoted as anywhere from "less than 1" all the way up to "6-7%" in recent years. As far as actual data all I was able to find was this review from the CDC through 2012 which quotes out-of-hospital birth increasing nationally to about 1.36%. I am excited to see what 2012-present stats are nationally as we have seen a HUGE increase in families choosing out of hospital options locally.

Knowing nationally (as of 2012) that we were only at 1.36% I am so excited to share our local out- of-hospital birth rates as reported by our reporting body, the Florida Department of Health.  I have included our home county as well as our 5 surrounding counties where we serve clients (about a 1 hour radius from our home base near downtown Tampa.) 

In these numbers we will look at out-of-hospital (OOH) rates compared to both total vaginal birth rates AND total birth numbers (which include cesareans and live preterm births.) These include all OOH births attended by both Licensed Midwives and Certified Nurse Midwives in free standing birth centers and at home births. These numbers exclude any unattended home births or accidental home births. 

2013 Out of Hospital Births 
+Hillsborough County - 254 total OOH births which is 3% of all term vaginal deliveries and 2% of ALL live births.
+Polk County- 85 total OOH births which is 2% of all term vaginal deliveries and 1% of ALL live births. 
+Pasco County- 85 total OOH births which is 6% of all term vaginal deliveries and 2% of ALL live births. 
+Pinellas County- 189 total OOH births which is 4% of all term vaginal deliveries and 2% of ALL live births. 
+Citrus County- 13 total OOH births which is 2% of all term vaginal deliveries and 1% of ALL live births. 
+Hernando County- 20 total OOH births which is 3% of all term vaginal deliveries and 2% of ALL live births. 

So these numbers, in my humble opinion, are AMAZING! This means that every county in our general vicinity is meeting or greatly exceeding the national average! We have lots of midwives working hard to give families options in their birth choices! This also means that families are taking advantage of these options more and more each year. This is great news and statistical proof that there is a HUGE shift happening in our maternity care system to get normal, healthy, low risk women out of the hospital.  This is all proving what we have upheld for years- hospitals are there for a reason and sometimes needed, but normal birth belongs at home. 

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Are these numbers surprising to you? Any other stats you want to see? We are working hard to bring you more "midwifery by numbers" as we get our hands on the data from the Department of Health and Vital Statistics.