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5 Sources for National Birth Data


Are you curious how your cesarean rate stacks up to the national average? How about your VBAC success or breastfeeding rates?

Having this data to compare to is incredibly valuable for birth professionals when promoting their positive birth outcomes to potential new clients or an employer. It can also help you identify where you need to focus your quality improvement efforts. 

Check out our top recommendations of sources for national birth data along with a bonus stat from each organization and how to find your own stats in BirthTracks.

1. CDC

The National Center for Health Statistics releases annual national statistics from birth certificate data including cesarean rate, preterm birth rate, fertility rates, and birth rates by maternal age and ethnicity. The 2021 Provisional Report was released in May 2022. 

Per the CDC, the national Cesarean Section Rate was 32.1% in 2021 and 31.8% in 2020. 

BirthTracks: Cesarean section rate is tracked on the Dashboard. To compare cesarean rates by providers or another variable go to Stats > Comparative Graphs and select Variable > Delivery Provider and Compare > Type of Birth.  

2. March of Dimes PeriStats

PeriStats provides maternal and infant health data by US, state, county, and city level. They utilize 9 different governmental data sources and provide topics on preterm birth, infant mortality, tobacco use, cesarean birth rates, and health insurance coverage. 

Per March of Dimes, the national Preterm Birth Rate was 10.2% in 2020. 

BirthTracks: Preterm birth rate is tracked on the dashboard on the Infant Outcomes graph along with low APGARs and NICU admissions. 

3. ACNM Benchmarking Project

The ACNM Benchmarking Project is a voluntary, annual submission in February to March of previous year’s aggregate practice data for ACNM members. Members are provided a report to compare their statistics to the benchmarks of similar sized practices. Only ACNM members can access project results. BirthTracks makes it easy to participate by automating submission to the ACNM Benchmarking Project. 

Per ACNM, the average VBAC Success Rate in 2020 of its participating members in a low-volume setting was 93.8% while it's high-volume setting had an average of 76.3%.

BirthTracks: VBAC success is tracked on the Dashboard. You can switch views between your individual stats and your practice's stats. You can also change the timeframe to show the last 12 months or last year. 

4. LeapFrog Group

The Leapfrog Group assesses hospital safety, quality, and efficiency based on national performance measures. Their maternal care measures include elective deliveries, cesareans, episiotomies, newborn bilirubin screening, and appropriate DVT prophylaxis in cesarean surgeries. Leapfrog Group sets standards on these measures that hospitals are compared to and graded. 

The 2022 LeapFrog Group Standard for Episiotomy is <5%

BirthTracks: Episiotomy rate is tracked on the Dashboard. You can find more data about perineal integrity such as 3rd and 4th degree lacerations or intact perineum by going to Stats > Tabular Data and selecting Type > Birth. 

5. Birth by the Numbers

Birth by the Numbers provides data from a variety of sources on topics such as breastfeeding, maternal and infant mortality, cesarean sections, VBACs, midwifery, and international stats.

Per the NHCS, 15.7% of vaginal births were attended by midwives in 2019. 

BirthTracks: Compare the number of vaginal births by midwives vs OBs by going to Stats > Summative Graphs and selecting Variable > Type of Birth and For > My Midwives or My MDs. 


Not collecting your stats yet or frustrated with your current method? Collecting your birth stats is easy and fast with BirthTracks. Try it out for free!

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