Must Read article on home birth politics

23 August 2008 at 7:17 am Leave a comment

It is a hopefully a new trend to read well reported journalism on home birth midwives. Alternet posted Anna Clark’s article on licensure and its legislative obstacles from medical trader organizations:

Dr. Henry Dorn of High Point, NC, is one OB/GYN — and former AMA member — who questions the recent obstacles to widespread licensure for midwives. Dorn operates a gynecology practice that offers midwifery services.

“I feel that (the AMA’s) statement may stem from a combination of ignorance or avoidance of the facts regarding out-of-hospital birth by skilled attendants, and perhaps a desire to protect the business interests of the physician community,”

Dorn said. “This is not to say that AMA members do not care for their patients’ best interests, but only that given the current medical climate, it would not be surprising to see those outside pressures affect [their] conclusions.”

Dorn expects the resolution to “discourage another generation of doctors from considering alternatives to highly medicalized birth, as most feel that any statements by the AMA should be viewed as gospel.”

Mattingly wonders if the root issue is that many doctors fear what they don’t know. “Very few doctors have seen a birth without any medical intervention,” she said. That means, “Most have never ever seen a normal birth.”

It is a very good article. Hopefully more Massachusetts legislators become aware of international trends of governments’ aims to increase homebirth:

Comparatively, home births are actively encouraged by U.K. governments, and in Edinburgh in particular. Nicola Goodall is an Edinburgh doula who reports that OB/GYNs and midwifes are partnering in an effort to respond to more babies being born than there are hospital units to accommodate them; Goodall said the collective goal is to increase home births by 800%. It’s an ambition that also translates into making midwifery an appealing and accessible profession.

“Midwives are registered here and they work alongside doctors and hospitals,” Goodall said. “All women giving birth in the UK get midwifery care, but they may get it alongside doctors if they have a special need (such as) a medical problem like diabetes.”

I read recently that South Australia had similar goals in the “Women’s Health Action Plan Initiative.”

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Wall Street Journal Article Should We Push for Better Birth on Television as Well?

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