I am a firm believer in midwifery. This belief is based on my own personal experience, as well as research.
A new study confirms that midwifery care leads to better outcomes in pregnancy, specifically less miscarriages and premature births.
The New York Daily News reports:
Researchers found that moms-to-be who turned to a small group of midwives instead of a team that included midwives as well as obstetricians and general practitioners were less likely to lose their babies before 24 weeks.
In addition to being happier with the care they received, these women were also less likely to give birth prematurely, had fewer epidurals and fewer episiotomies (a surgical incision made to prevent vaginal tearing).
My first child stayed crowned far longer than normal. I was exhausted. From everything I read about labor, this stage was suppose to go much quicker. My midwives, who had decades of experience, had never performed an episiotomy. They considered it, but they were patient and allowed my baby and my body to come out in due time, while of course monitoring our health along the way. I did not tear.
The researchers, who hailed from King’s College London, Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Warwick and National University of Ireland, Galway, examined data from 13 trials involving more than 16,000 women. Their findings were published in The Cochrane Library.
Lead researcher Jane Sandall recommended that expecting mothers should be offered this kind of care unless they have serious medical or obstetric complications.
“Women should be encouraged to ask for this option,” Sandall said in a press release. “Policymakers in areas of the world where health systems do not provide midwife-led care should consider the importance of midwives in improving maternity care and how financing of midwife-led services can be reviewed to support this.”
Midwifery care provides far more thorough prenatal care, helping to identify most high risk cases and thus transferring them to medical doctors. If an emergency arises, as did with both of my midwife attended births, they are well trained to respond.
Expectant parents develop relationships with midwives. It is the perfect way to start that transition into parenthood. Yes, patients of midwives are happier because they are treated like whole humans, they are listened to, they are not rushed at appointments, they are truly cared for by their midwives.