In the U.S., most births that involve midwives are in hospitals.1 A study in the U.K. has shown that low-risk births with midwives are safer than low-risk births by obstetricians in hospitals. British obstetricians in the U.K. frequently perform cesarean delivery, forceps delivery, and anesthesia injected into the spinal canal that could have been avoided. At the acclaimed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, midwives manage low-risk births without an obstetrician present. Studies have shown that Nurse-Midwives do as well as or better than obstetricians in low-risk cases. Nurse-Midwives handle many common complications such as cords around the baby’s neck, delivering baby’s with big shoulders, suturing tears and excessive bleeding. But if the case becomes very medically complicated, an obstetrician is called.
The American Congress of Ob/Gyns (ACOG), the midwifery organizations and the U.S. government recognize that more midwives are needed in the U.S. Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are licensed registered nurses (R.N.s) and many have received a master’s degree or higher, have completed clinical training, have been certified by a national board, and have passed a state exam for a license to practice. Approximately 75% of CNMs in the U.S. practice with obstetricians in physicians’ offices and in hospitals. If you are having a low-risk pregnancy, consider a midwife for a safe birth experience for you and your newborn. ACOG does not agree that home birth is safe.
- Are midwives safer than doctors? (2014, Dec 14.) The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/15/opinion/are-midwives-safer-than-doctors.html?_r=1