Midwives May Be The Key To Healthier Births and Babies

by , 01/28/13

midwives, midwife care, healthy birth, birth interventions, birth complications, overweight pregnancy, healthy pregnancy

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Why are Birth Intervention Rates so High?

Increased medical care for both labor and births causes much debate. What we do know is that one major study shows that having a nurse-midwife vs. a doctor is likely to reduce your risk of mortality and morbidity related to cesarean and other birth interventions, result in much fewer labor and birth interventions — and midwife led births mean fewer birth recovery complications for mothers. However, this is assuming the mother is healthy to begin with, and it’s assuming that a mother-to-be chooses to have fewer or no medical interventions during labor and childbirth. Healthy mothers-to-be are well-suited for midwifery care and even home birth and normally have excellent results with both choices. However, women today give birth later in life, which can cause complications. Many women today are becoming pregnant while overweight or obese and many more women than ever have heart disease — all of which makes for a less healthy labor and birth. On top of this, rates of mothers requesting birth interventions, including c-sections on demand are up. The above issues are not all linked to the type of care provider a mother chooses. Some argue that midwives may help lower the complications above because midwives do tend to spend more time with patients, thus may be able to encourage a woman to eat healthier, exercise and stay healthy. However, traditionally, midwives care for women having low-risk pregnancies. For example, if you’re overweight, older or have heart disease or diabetes, you may be ineligible for midwife care.

Midwives are an excellent choice for women, but it’s not entirely clear if simply having the option of choosing a midwife will help normalize maternity care, unless future mothers-to-be also get on board with healthier habits. Learn about some of these healthy habits in the links below.

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2 Responses to “Midwives May Be The Key To Healthier Births and Babies”

  1. Aurelas says:

    One thing that I have learned the hard way is that insurance may choose not to cover a birth if a midwife is the one in charge. Ours wouldn’t and we ended up deep in debt. I also learned that some midwives also induce labour with drugs, and may not tell you this until they have already given you the shot! Just be very careful when choosing a midwife. Make sure they are willing to talk to you about what will happen step by step when labour begins, and what they are able to do if there is an emergency. If they won’t answer your questions or are very vague, you probably need to go somewhere else. I thought everything was going to be just peachy but ended up with a stuck baby and a midwife who had no answer but to keep giving pitosin and then to do two episiotomies without any kind of anaesthesia. She also was big on shoving both hands and arms inside my body, which, especially after all those cuts were made, was excruciating. My baby and I both nearly died. I am still haunted by what I had expected to be a wonderful life experience. I am still an advocate of all natural childbirth, but warn you to make sure you know exactly what methods your midwife will use. Learn from my fail!

  2. Jennifer Chait says:

    The insurance point is a good one. It can be hard to have your birth covered by midwife care – though it is getting better. Many hospitals and birth centers are covered and offer nurse midwives.

    As for the care you got, it sounds like this is an issue of the care provider, not the fact that she was a midwife. Although statistics do show that you’re more likely to get quality care with a midwife, of course that’s not true 100%.

    No matter if you have a midwife, a doctor or some other care provider, you need to ask your provider questions before hand so you know their stance on interventions, meds, labor care and so on. Some midwives are great when it comes to natural birth as are some doctors, but it’s not across the board for either provider. It really comes down to the individual provider and their stance on labor and birth.

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