(This referenced article in the Wall Street Journal appeared in 2013 and is just as relevant today!)
One more vote of confidence, came for midwives, when the Wall Street Journal published an article that questions the medical model. This article sited several examples showcasing midwives in the US. They have had great outcomes in situations that seemed to have insurmountable problems such as high mother mortality and prematurity. “But we know for sure that at least some of the increasing danger of birth has been driven by medicalization of the process.” “A low tech, high touch approach has been shown to effectively lower rates of c-sections and early births in several modern cases.” Midwives have also been proven effective in educating parents about obesity and diabetics. Midwives save our tax dollars by reducing the need for medical care.
One of my dreams is for the majority of births be attended by midwives. Every family should be able to choose a midwife that works in or out of a hospital setting. I was recently reminded that the culture of birth is different in other countries by a mother who is from Germany. She said most mothers, in her country, go to the hospital expecting to have a natural childbirth – unless the need for medical intervention is necessary. It is quite different in the US. She was shocked and saddened when she learned about how American mothers expect to give birth. She asked me why?
Yet the myth that midwifery care is inferior, or not covered by insurance, still persists. Until families demand undisturbed birth, with midwives, the majority of births in the US will be attended by surgeons who are trained to view birth as dangerous and needing to be managed. We only need them for true emergencies. The majority of mother’s fall into the low risk category. Midwives are trained to view birth as a normal function of the human body. They most often have the skills and interest to support birth as a normal physiological process in the life of the family.