The trend towards midwife assisted deliveries is growing in the United States. The rate is still not that of the world average, but the rates are increasing. Healthland Time even went so far as to call the increase a “spike”.
In other developed nations, midwives are routinely tasked with bringing new life into the world. Not so in the U.S., where delivery is largely presided over by obstetricians. But a new study finds that midwives are getting busier, delivering 8.1% of the country’s babies in 2009 — a record high.
Slice the data differently and the proportion rises even further. Consider vaginal births only — midwives don’t do cesarean sections — and the figure rises to 12.1%, or about one of every eight deliveries, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“If this trend continues, it will bring us more in line with the rest of the world in giving midwives a central role in prenatal care and birth,” says study author Eugene Declercq, professor of community-health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. “Given that other countries have lower costs and better outcomes, it would be a positive thing for this country.”
The state with the highest rate of midwife assisted deliveries is New Mexico. 24 percent of all births (not excluding c-sections) are presided over by midwives. That is three times the US national average.
New research has confirmed older studies about the benefit of probiotics in the birth canal. There is an interesting connection between method of birth and children’s weight.
Bacteria found in the birth canal helps regulate metabolism, thus it seems likely there is a link between the childhood obesity epidemic and increased rates of c-section deliveries.
I’ve always felt that childhood obesity was largely a result of diet, genetics, and sedentary lifestyle. Junk food, fast food, and processed food coupled with tv watching and lack of physical exercise in school has led to overweight children. When I see overweight children, I have great empathy, as I think of the struggles they will face their whole lives with weight gain and health.
There’s a new trend amongst natural home birthers getting attention by the media…the lotus birth. When I first heard the term, images from Ina May’s book Spiritual Midwifery came to mind of women having natural, orgasmic births imagining a lotus flower opening to help them open for birth. The term actually refers to an extreme version of delayed cord clamping and not a natural childbirth practice as implied.
Otherwise known as umbilical nonseverance, Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord and placenta attached to your baby after he is born. It’s well documented that waiting to cut your baby’s umbilical cord is a healthy practice, but Lotus Birth keeps it attached to a newborn, along with the placenta, until it falls off naturally (which takes much longer than the recommended 90 second cord clamping delay recommended by Dr. Alan Greene).
Delayed cord clamping differs from lotus birth in that the cord is clamped and severed after it has stopped pumping, which is typically about 15 minutes. The lotus birth allows for the placenta and umbilical cord to fall of naturally, which can take several days, at least that is how long I recall it took for my children’s cord stump to fall off.