Excerpt from the TIME article “Midwife Mania? More U.S. Babies than Ever Are Delivered by Midwives,” June 25, 2012
In other developed nations, midwives are routinely tasked with bringing new life into the world. Not so in the U.S., where delivery is largely presided over by obstetricians. But a new study finds that midwives are getting busier, delivering 8.1% of the country’s babies in 2009 — a record high.
Slice the data differently and the proportion rises even further. Consider vaginal births only — midwives don’t do cesarean sections — and the figure rises to 12.1%, or about one of every eight deliveries, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“If this trend continues, it will bring us more in line with the rest of the world in giving midwives a central role in prenatal care and birth,” says study author Eugene Declercq, professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. “Given that other countries have lower costs and better outcomes, it would be a positive thing for this country.
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Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.