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Costs threaten midwife practices

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
There goes another one! Hospitals canceling nurse midwife programs.


Expectant mothers in the Washington metropolitan area are finding fewer hospital-based midwifery services as malpractice insurance costs continue to escalate.
Georgetown University Hospital in Northwest recently announced it will cancel its nurse-midwife program by the end of June. A medical group in Frederick, Md., cut a similar program three months ago.
The demise of both programs is part of a national trend that expectant mothers and some doctors argue stomps on women's freedom.
"It's a very bad trend for several reasons," said Dr. Marsden Wagner, former director of Women's Health for the World Health Organization. "When the hospital fires the midwives, they are stealing options, taking away from the freedom of women."
Dr. Wagner was one of more than 100 doctors, expectant mothers and midwives who rallied yesterday outside Georgetown University Hospital to protest its decision to end the Georgetown Midwives program. The hospital laid off its three midwives.
"In every other country except ours, over 80 percent of births are attended by midwives, not by doctors," Dr. Wagner said. "And in many, many countries, they lose fewer women and they lose fewer babies than we do."
Some doctors say there is a stigma attached to midwives in the United States.
"There's still a tendency to say, 'Midwife? That's old, that's second-class care.' We're still trying to dispel that image," said Ruth Lubic of the D.C. Birth Center in Northeast. ....
post #2 of 10
My midwife- a naturopath just stopped delivering babies because of the high cost of malpractice insurance.
post #3 of 10
Ditto here--the MW who helped deliver both my babies has stopped bc. of insurance costs. I was in tears when she told me.
post #4 of 10
I posted in Activism not that long ago about my local MW group.

They're slowly been pushed out of business- due to liability costs they are no longer insured for home births, their back-up physician can't be their back-up anymore (liability costs, and hospital legal pressure)so no more birthcenter births... How long before they can't deliver anywhere?

I am truly bummed :cry

What can we do? We MUST do something!
post #5 of 10
That's why my midwife practices without insurance. It's a risk to her, but she refuses to let these issues dictate the care her clients receive. Most - if not all - insurances dictate the scope of a midwife's practice, as well. She likes being able to do what's best for the woman instead of what hospitals and insurance dictate.

I wish there were more midwives like her
post #6 of 10
I wish there was something we could do about this. It's absolute bullshit.
post #7 of 10
One reason I support UC first, and lay midwifery out of hospital second.
post #8 of 10
This happened in my neighborhood, at the University of Chicago Hospitals, within the last few months. The neighborhood parents rasied a real stink. We had a pretty rowdy rally, too. The midwives were adored. Practically everyone who had used them raved about them. But the hospital insisted that it couldn't afford to keep them.

Fortunately I had delivered with the midwives about 3 months before they had to leave. But it is sad to know that next time, I won't be able to use the hospital that is right down the road.
post #9 of 10
i live in austin tx, and my 4 yr old was delivered by a CNM at one of the two bigger hospitals in the city. now the practice is closed- all three midwives lost thier jobs, and the three midwives from the only other hospital-based- midwife program lost thiers too.. they were pushed out of practice for the same reasons. so now there are no midwives who deliver in hospitals in austin. its supposed to be the most liberal city in texas. haha

my midwife is a CNM and does homebirths (has for 20 + years), and she carrys no insurance.
post #10 of 10

Georgetown Midwives

Does anyone in the DC area have any new information regarding the situation. There was suppose to be a protest 4/1/04. My DD came into the world with the help of one of those dear midwives at Georgetown, and we have since moved 1800 miles away, but would really like to help.
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