Do Midwives Lead to Better Birth Outcomes?
Wondering if you should seek midwife care for your pregnancy? See why researchers say you definitely should!
Before having my own children, my idea of pregnancy and childbirth was based mostly on movies and tidbits shared by others. Obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN), epidurals, pain medications, cesarean sections, and hospitals were the norm in my mind. I didn’t know a lot about my birth options. I figured it was a given to get a doctor and give birth in a hospital.
Like many first-time moms before me, I began to devour pregnancy, birth and parenting books. I still didn’t know I could see someone other than an OB, but I knew I wanted as few interventions as possible. To have a successful and positive birth experience, I think making informed choices is important and support the increased awareness about birth rights and choices. It was interesting to learn that midwives are often the primary care providers for pregnant women in other countries, such as in the UK.
According to a new study women who work with a midwife throughout their pregnancy and birth have better birth outcomes. Researchers reviewed data for a total of 16, 242 women receiving midwife-led care, which included women considered to have low and high risk pregnancies. They found that these women were “less likely to give birth before 37 weeks or lose their babies before 24 weeks. Women were happier with the care they received, had fewer epidurals, fewer assisted births, and fewer episiotomies.” The researchers concluded that all women without serious medical issues should be offered midwife-led care or request it themselves.
I had a different ob for each pregnancy but you know what? Neither of them delivered me. I didn’t know the staff that delivered either of my babies! My doula was the only consistent labor support I had besides my husband. Thankfully the hospital staff respected my birth plan, but it was very distracting to have nurses changing shifts and telling me to stop pushing until they got the doctor during my first delivery.
I found the results of the study to be interesting and important information pregnant women should know. Maybe if we have a third child I’ll seek out midwife care, though I learned many often provide care for women at all stages of life.
Did you know you can request a midwife? Have you worked with one before?
Several moms share with BabyZone what it was like birthing with a midwife.
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