I was referring to furthur back than the 1900's, people have been meddling in birth for much longer than that. When the medico's started getting involved in childbirth they would often attend mothers after attending people who were ill. Sometimes vetrinarians and medical students would be the attendants. The importance of basic hand-washing was not known at the time. It was alarmingly common for an attendant to come to a birth immediately after attending a sick person or working on a cadaver WITHOUT WASHING HANDS!! This led to problems of infection (obviously). This is just one of many wrong turns that childbirth has taken.
On another note, the US is ranked 25th in the world for infant mortality, this is behind several countries that are LESS technically advanced.
My SIL worked in a hospital in Nigera for a short time. It is not surprising that they have some of the worst stats. The are copying the western "ideal" of hospital births, but they are not equipped for it. They lack supplies, staff, hygenic practices, and many, many other things. This has NOTHING to do with UC. The mothers are often poor, unhealthy, far too young, and under-nourished. This is the opposite of what an ideal UC would be all about.
I personally believe that on average a UC mother takes MORE responsibility than the average pregnant woman. That is because she knows that she is solely responsible for the outcome. There will be instances where that is not enough (4% of women ACTUALLY need csecs) and some of those UC mamas will transfer to the hospital either before, during, or immediately after the birth much like any homebirth. UC mothers are not ignorant or stupid. Quite the contrary in fact. Some of the smartest, most responsible people I have ever met choose to give birth unassisted because they see the stats for themselves. Walking into a hospital in North America today gives you a 1 in 4 chance (if not higher) of getting a csec. There is a much higher risk involved in UNNECESSARY major abdominal surgery (which will consist of the majority of those csecs) than childbirth ever could.
OTOH if all you see is the negative outcomes day after day it would be easy to forget about the majority of births that DON"T end that way. My beautiful 1 yo UC baby is living proof