Hospital, Home, or Birth Center? Midwife or Doctor?
by Cordelia S. Hanna, BA, CCE, CB http://www.socalbirth.com/
You have choices on where and how to give birth!
1) Hospital Birth…With Obstetricians
If you wish to have a hospital birth, your chances of having a natural, uncomplicated birth are optimized by carefully selecting your obstetrician and hospital, and by hiring a “Doula” –a Professional Labor Companion. Many doctors are used to working with women who hire Professional Labor Companions, and doctors who work with midwives have lower cesarean section rates.
Delivering babies by abdominal surgery has been steadily rising in America over the past two decades, so that now 25% of births in hospitals are performed by cesarean section. When comparing the U.S. C-section rate to other western, industrialized countries, one finds that those countries which employ midwives for the majority of births have significantly lower rates than ours; and also have lower infant mortality rates. The U.S., despite having the most advanced technology and highly trained medical personnel, ranks 29th in Infant Mortality. That means 28 other countries–most of which have integrated midwives into their maternity care system–lose less babies in the first year of life.
Epidural anesthesia, Pitocin augmentation of labor, vacuum extraction of fetus, episiotomy and separation of newborn and mother are standard in American hospitals. Undoubtedly, there are circumstances where medical procedures such as these are necessary, but many parents and professionals now question the routine use of such interventions such as episiotomy, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, IVs, etc. In many cases, the routine intervention of these procedures leads to iatrogenic (physician-caused) complications…