According to an article in the June 25, 2012 issue of Time, midwives delivered 8% of all babies born in the U.S. in 2009 – an all-time high. In New Mexico, with the most midwife-attended births, the rate is 24%. Time’s story is based on a study just published in The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health (Vol 57(4) July/Aug 2012).

“If this trend continues, it will bring us more in line with the rest of the world in giving midwives a central role in prenatal care and birth,” says study author Eugene Declercq, professor of community-health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. “Given that other countries have lower costs and better outcomes, it would be a positive thing for this country.”