Dangerous Midwives Slammed By The Media More Often Than Doctors.
Being that I write here at Pregnancy & Baby, along with multiple other parenting websites, I tend to scan the...
Being that I write here at Pregnancy & Baby, along with multiple other parenting websites, I tend to scan the news daily for interesting pregnancy and baby stories and such. Today, while scanning the news I saw this headline, "Midwife's care not up to scratch." I read the story, which ended up being about a midwife in New Zealand who failed to notice that her pregnant client was ill, thus not providing her client with proper care. According to the piece, the pregnant woman had become ill with vomiting 37 weeks into her first pregnancy. After contacting her midwife about the symptoms, the midwife didn't take any action to help her. The woman ended up contacting a doctor who told the woman she had signs of pre-eclampsia and sent her for urgent blood tests. The blood tests indicated that the doctor was correct and the baby was quickly delivered via emergency cesarean section. The piece then went on to say that the midwife was unprofessional, failed to notice the basics and should have her practices reviewed by the NZ Midwifery Council. MY PROBLEM WITH THIS SITUATION: Trust me, if a midwife doesn't provide proper care for her client, yes, I think it's bad. Every health care professional, be it a midwife, a doctor or a nurse should always (in my opinion) offer the best possible care to pregnant mamas. What bothers me about this article is that every single time a midwife messes up we hear about it. Do we hear about when doctors mess up? Rarely. In fact at the end of December another article pointed out that "Doctors may be leading a ‘calculated backlash’ against home births by suggesting they are more dangerous than giving birth in hospital." This I don't doubt. Each time you see a piece about a midwife mistake or midwife issue, there's some doctor or doctor's group quoted, shaking their heads sadly, saying, "Oh, if only this mom had chosen a doctor instead of a midwife!" The real deal is that doctors have bad birth outcomes, just like midwives. Doctors end up with situations where babies die, just like midwives. Research shows that doctors also use more interventions than midwives and spend less time with their patients. Doctors are a good choice for women who are having a high-risk pregnancy. Doctors are also a good choice for women who are scared of midwives due to stories like "Midwife's care not up to scratch". Women who take the time to research the history and safety of midwives will realize that midwives are perfectly safe caregivers for healthy women. YES BAD DOCTORS EXIST: There are bad midwives sure, but be very aware that there are bad doctors out there too. While the media would have you believe that only midwives pose a danger, there are plenty of bad doctors. For example, botched births happen due to doctors fighting. There are newborns killed due to hospital medical staff errors and research a few years ago shows that in-hospital errors cause about 195,000 deaths annually. Also consider that most women in the USA do have doctors, yet many women still get poor care and even die in childbirth. In fact a recent report notes that pregnancy and childbirth deaths have recently doubled in the USA - why are so many women and babies dying if doctors are so darn amazing? So yup, there are bad doctors, and hospitals aren't as safe as you may think. These issues just aren't highlighted as often by the mass media as midwife error is. I'm all for coverage of midwife and doctor errors, but seeing some balance would be nice. In truth research and past reports shows that... Midwives are the best choice for almost all women experiencing a normal healthy pregnancy. Of course normal is subjective - but here's a tip - pregnancy and birth are not diseases or illnesses, which is what doctors treat. Midwives help support pregnant women.
- Midwife shortages harm women and babies.
- Midwives can open up VBAC option for women.
- Homebirths with midwives are safe for many women.
- The number one way to avoid excess birth interventions is to have a midwife instead of an OB - Much research, including the The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative supports this.
- Midwives accuse doctors of causing 'home birth backlash' due to unfounded safety fears
- Midwives vs. Doctors in US Maternal Mortality Crisis
- Types of midwives to choose from.
- Common myths about midwives.
- Homebirth and midwifery books
- Doctors vs. Midwives - some interesting points.
- Doctors Versus Midwives: The Birth Wars Rage On