Thank you for your kind words, hilbean88.
As far as homebirth midwives go most of us a pretty progressive bunch, when I went to midwifery school about half of my class were bisexual or lesbian, that is a pretty heavy percentage. I think the midwifery model of care is very attractive to many of us because it has a strong feminist angle...it is the way all women and families should be treated. I know traditionally midwives have been associated with religious movements but today it is very much a mixed bag. Here in MA however there are just a couple of more religious homebirth midwives. I would be happy to pass along that info...not to badmouth at all, but just to save everyone time.
As far as hospital stats go, they are a general guideline, the best thing that anyone can do is to find out each persons c/s, episiotomy, epidural rates in the practice...this will give the best indicator of how it may go at birth, who really supports low c/s and natural birth. I have to say also that it is not about 'natural' birth per say, but about getting a woman, if she wants an epi as far along as possible and keeping it intervention free. So like as natural as possible, which most ob practitioners do not know how to facilitate, sadly...just not in the training, imagination...
Here is the 'latest' Birth Data for MA hospitals (2007) http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eohhs2te...s&csid=Eeohhs2
Charlton is listed as having a 33.7 % cesarean rate. Pretty dismal. According to WHO standards it should be 10-15%, NO EXCUSES...Charlton is not a tertiary care facility dealing with the really difficult cases.
To give you an idea, which you may already have, Tobey has the best stats in MA at 17.1% cesarean rate. I believe Louise has an 8% c/s rate, one of her backups a 10% rate. I am not sure about the other two practitioners there but they seem to be more typical care providers so this would account for somewhat of the statistical rise to 17.1%. Let me say that the other two docs, although from what I understand, are more conservative, did take excellent care of me when I had my son with Louise and them 3 years ago. I know a lot of it had to do with Louise's mediation...she was there with them through the entire process...7 days, 3 inductions and finally a vaginal birth. That is the kind of service you just can not find in most facilities. And I am sure she did not get paid, because the insurance companies will not pay two providers...
Homebirth midwives have the lowest rates (as we deal only with pretty healthy clients, but still ours are outstanding). It is because we are free to practice medical evidence based care and have been taught many tricks for helping labor and postition, psychology that are not taught in medical school today...plus no shift change, patience, etc... My c/s rate of 3% is not uncommon.
I know you know this stuff hilbean88, perhaps you should share this thread with your friends... Take care!