The Pendulum Is Swinging: Ups In Midwifery Officially Considered A Reaction To C-Sections

midwifeI suppose it’s official if The New York Times says it is: midwives are in! And although home-birthing has been on the uptick for sometime now, midwives can be tossed in with those growing numbers too, perhaps in response to the high rates of c-sections, some experts are musing.

A study determined that vaginal births are on the rise, about one in every eight births. Much like home-birthing, midwives are apparently booming in business because of a renewed interest by white women (thank you, The Business of Being Born). It would appear that women are becoming more and more educated about the necessity versus widespread practice of c-sections. One out of every three American births can now be attributed to going under the knife, despite that the procedure is needed in only about five to 15% of deliveries. This number, and ones much like it, apparently have women with the means thinking otherwise about how to bring their baby into the world:

…a greater proportion of women are choosing to rely on midwives in what experts think is a direct reaction to rising rates of C-section births. Midwives approach birth differently than many physicians: they shy away from inducing labor in most situations, which can lead to a greater likelihood of cesarean delivery.

A professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health doesn’t find this to be much of a bad thing either:

“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… “Given that other countries have lower costs and better outcomes, it would be a positive thing for this country.”

I guess all that “too posh to push” nonsense is officially passé?

(photo: NotarYES/ Shutterstock)

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  • Justme

    Meh. I will stick with my C-section. I know (more or less) when to expect my baby and the recovery is easy.

  • Melissa

    The 30% c-section rate is a little misleading, since it includes elective repeat c-sections. Also, it’s my understanding that the c-section rate has increased because it’s become much safer than other methods of emergency extraction (epesiotomy, forceps and vacuum delivery). With a c-section, the majority of the risks are borne by the mom, where both forceps and vacuum deliveries can lead to injuries for both mom and baby. Myself, I’d rather face 100 c-sections than worry about my baby being crushed by forceps. But then, I don’t see a c-section as being particularly hard or traumatic. It was just a thing I had to do to get to my real motivation for becoming pregnant, my beautiful baby boy.

  • Debi in the Boonies

    C-section is ABSOLUTELY a common reason for women to consider a home birth. Especially for those of us in non-VBAC friendly areas. I’ve had two hospital vaginal births, and two c-sections (one because he was breech and preemie, and the second because VBACs weren’t allowed there). I am now expecting #5, and no way am I going through that hell again if I don’t have to! My body is built for natural birthing. I recover from a vaginal delivery in 1-7 days. A c-section recovery, on the other hand, is way longer than average for me, as well as much harder. Besides that, I have so much anxiety, that if I can’t handle being awake during the surgery (I was in a full out panic attack with my last one), they’ll put me under, and then not let the baby’s dad in the room for the delivery. So both of us miss out on it.
    No, not happening again unless it is medically necessary. I, again, am in non-VBAC-friendly territory, so guess what? HBAC here I come!