Distance to Hospital-based Intrapartum Care and Planned Home Birth in Minnesota

Elise Parks Santangelo, Theresa Osypuk, Susan M. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Loss of hospital-based intrapartum services is associated with increases in out-of-hospital births, but less is known about associations with planned home birth. This study explores the impact of distance to hospital-based intrapartum care on planned home birth. Methods: Public-use Minnesota birth certificate data were merged with Minnesota Hospital Annual Report data (2011-2016) to test the relationship of miles from maternal residence to hospital-based intrapartum care with planned home birth in Minnesota. Logistic regression models estimated the odds of a planned home birth versus hospital birth as a function of miles to hospital-based intrapartum care. Results: The number of hospitals offering birth services in Minnesota declined by 11% from 2011 to 2016. Moderate (>20-50 miles) and great (>50 miles) distances to nearest hospital-based intrapartum care were associated with increased odds of planned home birth compared with short distances (≤20 miles). Adjusted odds ratios were 3.31 (95% CI, 3.04-3.61) and 3.89 (95% CI, 2.37-6.37), respectively, after adjusting for maternal education, age, and race. Planned home birth was the intended birth setting in 4.3% of births among those living great distances from hospital-based intrapartum care, compared with 1.0% among those living a short distance from hospital-based intrapartum care. Discussion: Better understanding of how geographical barriers affect preferred birth settings can inform efforts to reduce the impact of hospital-based intrapartum service loss on rural women and their birth outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-502
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • birth setting
  • health services accessibility
  • home childbirth
  • natural childbirth
  • parturition
  • rural health services

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Distance to Hospital-based Intrapartum Care and Planned Home Birth in Minnesota'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this