It matters how one gives birth and how one is born. It is a matter of profound importance not only to the mother and newborn, but to all whom birth touches—to families who are celebrating this significant event, to birth workers who are caring for families through this transformative experience, and to societies that must move aside to welcome one more member of the human family. But especially, birth matters to mother and child.
There is no interference. No sound. First contact is mine by right.
I reach for my baby and, instinctively, do what every uninterrupted mother
since the beginning of time has done. I cradle her to my left side, to my heart,
to where the first sound she hears is the steady and familiar beat of home.
She is slippery like a dolphin and oh so soft.
Midwives Are Experts
Pregnancy and childbirth have an enormous impact on the health of women, newborns, and families, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socio-econonomically. Midwives are experts in normal birth and adept at ensuring excellent outcomes for women and infants. Midwives attend approximately 10% of births in the U.S. across all settings, including hospitals, birth centers, and home births. In every setting, midwife-led maternity care results in reduced infant and maternal mortality and morbidity, fewer medical interventions, decreased costs, increased savings, and improved client satisfaction.
Midwives Have Excellent Outcomes
Across our planet, eighty percent of people alive today have been born with midwives. In many of the industrialized countries of the world, midwives attend approximately 70% of all births. The countries with the lowest mortality and morbidity rates for mothers and infants are those in which midwifery is a valued and integral pillar of the maternity care system. The midwifery model is a low-tech, high-caring model that produces excellent outcomes not only for low risk women, but for vulnerable and at-risk women as well.
Midwifery Care is Empowering and Satisfying
Midwives hold the key to optimal birthing practices and cesarean prevention. Numerous studies have shown that birthing with a midwife significantly decreases the risk of cesarean delivery and premature birth. In addition, women and families who birth with midwives describe having a more empowering and satisfying experience. At this point in our national history, women and families deserve to not only survive childbirth but also enjoy it as a healthy bonding experience that will transform women and men into engaged, informed, and empowered parents of the children who will lead our next generation forward.
Midwifery Model of Care Works Well in Any Setting
The midwifery model of care, whether practiced in clinics, private homes, hospitals or birth centers, has at its core the characteristics of being with women, listening to women, and sharing knowledge and decision-making with women. The goal of the midwifery model of care is to support women and their families in the process of birthing their babies safely, unhindered and with confidence. Every woman deserves access to the high quality, safe, personalized, attentive, affordable, and respectful care of a midwife.