Best in care

The 237 best hospitals for maternity care, according to US News

Inaugural list finds disparities in the number of high-performing hospitals for maternity care in different states; no hospitals in nine states made the list.


U.S. News and World Report recently released, for the first time, a list of the 237 best hospitals for maternity care. In evaluating hospitals to create the list, U.S. News examined hospital data on labor and delivery services for uncomplicated pregnancies. Researchers looked at C-section rates, newborn complication rates, breast milk feeding rates, early elective delivery rates and whether a hospital offered vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

The list comes at a time when there is widespread concern about the country’s maternal mortality rate. Last year, The Commonwealth Fund released a report noting that the U.S. maternal mortality rate, 17.4 per 100,000 pregnancies, is the highest among industrialized countries. In response, earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced nearly $350 million in awards to every state across the nation to support safe pregnancies and healthy babies.

By the numbers

U.S. News did not release a numerical ranking of maternity hospitals but instead provided a list of 237 U.S. hospitals that it has deemed high performing in maternity care. It also published a list of questions to ask when choosing a maternity hospital.

Among the hospitals on the list:

  • The average nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex (NTSV) C-section rate is 21.1%.
  • The average early elective delivery rate is 1.3%.
  • The average overall unexpected newborn complication rate is 2.4%.
  • The average exclusive breast milk feeding rate is 58.6%.
  • Roughly 92% of the hospitals offer routine options for VBAC. [Source: U.S. News via Medpage Today.]

States with the most, least high-performing hospitals for maternity care

In its report on the list, Medpage Today provided the eight states that had the most hospitals on the list:

California: 33
Illinois: 15
New Jersey: 15
Colorado: 14
Michigan: 12
North Carolina: 11
Wisconsin: 11
Pennsylvania: 10

Conversely, nine states do not have a single hospital deemed high-performing in maternity care by U.S. News, Medpage Today reported:

New Mexico
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia

The full list of 237 hospitals is available here.

Related reading:

HHS provides $350 million in funding for maternal and child health

Maneuvering motherhood and medicine: DOs share advice

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