Leeseberg & Valentine

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Call the Midwife? Read this first

The use of midwives during the labor and delivery process is becoming more common. The Columbus Dispatch published a great story on the issue over the weekend where it highlighted the rising popularity of using midwives and the dangers associated with it. Here are a few highlights from the article:

  • "Most out-of-hospital midwives lack nursing degrees. Some can't administer drugs. Few carry adequate lifesaving equipment. Many are afraid to call 911 when emergencies arise. Almost none are required to have liability insurance. More than a dozen states don't even regulate them."
  • "It also should be noted that most out-of-hospital deliveries end well in America. Infant death remains rare regardless of birth setting, and occurs at a rate of roughly 1.3 per 1,000 full-term babies born at home or in a freestanding birth center, based on a GateHouse analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that's still double the death rate of hospital-born babies"
  • "Infants are three times as likely to die with midwife-assisted home births as midwife-assisted hospital births. In hospitals, midwives are advanced registered nurses who perform the kind of low-risk, uncomplicated deliveries that out-of-hospital midwives are supposed to handle at home."
  • "Most out-of-hospital midwives are certified professional midwives, or CPMs. They require no nursing experience, health-related background, bachelor's or graduate degree. They can obtain certification by attending an accredited or non-accredited midwifery school -- or apprenticing under another midwife -- and passing a written test by the North American Registry of Midwives."
  • "Women have lost friends, been harassed and received cease-and-desist letters after complaining about poor care and bad outcomes. Two women declined to be interviewed for this story, fearing further harassment from the midwifery community."
If this article highlights one thing, it is that the birthing process can be very dangerous and it is imperative to have a competent medically-trained professional on hand. Unfortunately, this article also highlights that many midwives hold themselves out to have more medical training than they actually do, which often results in bad outcomes when things go awry. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed due to the negligence of a midwife, contact our office today to see if we can be of assistance.

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