SALT LAKE CITY — A new report from the Utah Department of Health finds the rate of women giving birth outside hospitals doubled between 1990 and 2012, though the numbers are still small.
Nan Streeter, the department's maternal and child health director, says the growing cost of hospital births coupled with a desire to avoid medical interventions are fueling the rise.
The analysis looks at births between 2010 and 2012 and uses new, more detailed information collected by the state on birth certificates.
It shows that of the approximately 140,000 babies were born in Utah during those two years and about 3,700, or less than 3 percent, were born at homes or in birthing centers.
As more mothers choose home births, officials say women should ensure their care providers know what to do in an emergency.