Prosecution of midwives
In Indiana and nine other states, midwives must be licensed physicians or nurses. Some midwives in Indiana who don’t meet those requirements are being prosecuted. According to the New York Times:
Doctors, legislators and prosecutors in Indiana… say home births supervised by midwives present grave and unacceptable medical risks. Midwives see it differently. They say the ability of women to choose to give birth at home is under assault from a medical establishment dominated by men who, for reasons of money and status, resent a centuries-old tradition that long ago anticipated the concerns of modern feminism…
Midwifery is an autonomous profession,” [midwife] Ms. Ayres said. “It’s an art and a science that predates the medical model of care. Midwifery sees birth as normal and basically safe.
“It’s made safer by reliance on the woman’s power,” she continued. “The medical model assumes the woman is passive and her body needs to be acted upon. Every birth is presented as a potential disaster from which every woman needs to be protected and potentially rescued.”
A home birth is also a lot less expensive than a hospital birth.
I’m sympathetic to the midwives’ arguments, and for a large majority of births their approach is probably right. But I’ve also seen –in my own close family and friends– how the politically-oriented, male-bashing approach of Ms. Ayres and her ilk can go terribly awry when things aren’t normal.
The results I’ve seen personally, when an expectant mom bought into these arguments and the sensitive, enlightened partners went along?
- An emergency C-Section, ruptured uterus and baby with a 1 Apgar following an attempted Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
- A stillborn baby when an experienced midwife failed to deal effectively with an umbilical cord wrapped around an otherwise healthy baby’s neck
I’m with the prosecutors and medical establishment on this one.April 5, 2006