Midwife birthing is a very shallow, unknown thing in the United States. 3 out of 4 people in the U.S. do not know what a Midwife is. A woman as long as long she lives will always remember her personal experience of her delivery. If you do not have the reverence or respect for that than where do we go from there? Delivery is a time for the woman to shine. It is a rite of passage and a life altering experience. We can either make that experience stressful, fast paced and uncomfortably painful or we can go with instincts and let it all happen naturally.
The maternity care in the U.S is in crisis. Medical decisions are being made for monetary and legal issues not necessarily for the wellbeing of mom and baby. Midwives attend over 70% of births in Europe and Japan. In the United States they attend less than 7%. There is little understanding about how important this process is to woman. Over the last 45-59 years the world of technology has convinced mothers that they do not know how to birth. The new thing in todays world is to have a “designer birth” which is where you plan when exactly the baby is going to be born, by doing this you must be induced.
For example I knew this woman who went into labor at the hospital wanting to have a completely natural birth. But once she got in there she started to have a lot of unnecessary interventions made. She personally felt like she had been cheated from the personal experience that was wanted afterwards and now feels that if she ever had another baby then she wanted to do things completely differently. She attended many birth conferences and lectures, doing her best to get more educated about the whole process. Now her question is, “Is America being beneficial to mothers and babies?”
Very few doctors have observed a normal birth in medical school or even in the hospital. According to a study with OB/GYN Resident, NYU at Bellevue Hospital Center, 3 interns were interviewed and the question was, “How often do you get to physically see a full on natural birth?” The answer was “Rarely” from all three.
I also called myself and spoke to Dr. Jacques Morits, an OB/GYN from Saint Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. He admits that midwives do do a better job at the normal delivery. Especially for a normal, low risk woman he said it is just too much by going to a doctor. “The doctor is not excited when a normal delivery comes in.”
Medical anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD says, “OB/GYN’s are trained to search for pathology, (look for diseases) so often they tend to see pathology where it does not exist. They find pathology because then they finally have something to do.”
Elan Vital McAllister, the President of Choices in Childbirth, says “OB/GYN’s are surgeons. They are trained for surgery and should be doing surgery all day long. They should not be doing normal births simply because they are not trained in it. They have no idea how to do it.”
Marsden Wagmer, M.D and former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health of the World Health Organization, says “Everywhere else in the world; Japan, Great Brittan, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany and Denmark, pretty much every other highly developed country, they are losing fewer woman and babies during the time of birth compared to the United States. And what do you see? You see midwives assisting 70-80% of all births. And the doctors are there to take care of the small percent that develop the complications. That is the proven system everywhere in the world, and the United States stands alone.”
Also the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world. Eugene Declero, PhD a Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health at Boston University School of Public Health says: “The United States is rated poorly in a stance of infant mortality rate. If you look at 7 countries that have at least 400,000 births, we are last.”
The U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all