Monday, September 14, 2009

The Non-Perils of Midwifery

Blog post from the ACNM website on September 11, 2009

Earlier, the Today Show aired a sad, unfortunate piece called “Perils of Midwifery.” (They later updated the Web segment title to "Perils of Home Births.") Not only does it follow the heart-breaking account of a birth gone horribly wrong; it exploits the couple’s tragedy—turning it into a sensationalized story that scares women and grossly misrepresents midwifery.

The safety of midwife-attended births is well documented in a substantive and ongoing body of research. If ACNM, the professional organization for certified midwives and certified nurse-midwives, had been consulted during the development of this piece, the Today Show’s journalists would have known about these top 5 fact-based resources from the past year:

1. Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve says that midwives top the list of “underused interventions” that should be used “whenever possible and appropriate.” Several systematic reviews showing improved outcomes associated with midwifery-led care are cited.

2. A Cochrane Review concluded that “most women should be offered midwife-led models of care.”

3. A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that planned homebirth is as safe as hospital birth for women with low-risk pregnancies.

4. Just last week, Canadian researchers declared that “Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death…and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth....”

5. Authors of an ACOG Obstetrics & Gynecology article say they encourage midwifery care and “support future randomized trials to compare” home vs. hospital births.

Women and health care professionals need to be making decisions that are informed by evidence-based medicine—not reactionary interventions and unbalanced investigative journalism. Women deserve better.

No comments:

Post a Comment