More Pregnant Women Choose Midwives
In the past decade, the number of women choosing nurse-midwives has doubled,
according to a survey published in American Baby magazine (11/03). The
survey results also revealed that mothers who received midwifery care spent
more time with their primary provider (their midwife), experienced fewer surgical
interventions such as Cesarean-section and episiotomies, and required less medication
than those whose births were attended by physicians. To put these data in perspective,
however, it must be noted that nurse midwives generally perform deliveries only
in women with relatively low-risk pregnancies.
Nurse-midwives provide prenatal care and attend deliveries either alone or collaboratively
with physicians. A study published in the American Journal of Public
Health (June 2003) documented that low-risk patients receiving collaborative
midwifery care had birth success rates comparable to those who saw only physicians,
with fewer interventions, and lower cost to the health care system.
Nurse-midwives are licensed in all 50 states and attend 10% of vaginal births
nationwide. Nurse-midwives can provide safe, patient-centered care for low-risk
maternity patients and gynecological care for women of all ages. This is an
option that women may increasingly consider as more and more obstetrician gynecologists
stop performing deliveries as a result of the rising costs of medical malpractice
insurance and other pressures.
Created: 2/12/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.