Friday, April 4, 2014
To begin my search I really wanted to look into the statistical difference between hospital births and mid wife births in the US in terms of infant and mother mortality, as well as complications and interventions. I felt that the Business of Birth documentary was very descriptive in the amount of total complications and deaths the US sees annually compared to other countries as well as the general health benefits offered by midwife births, but I was more interested in inter country statistics comparing midwife births to hospital births. The first link I found took me to a study posted about two months ago that was the largest observation of midwife births to date, following the pregnancy and birth of 17000 midwife using mothers. (http://www.mana.org/blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes) First, the study found that the midwife cesarean section rate was 5.2 percent, compared to the national average of 31 percent, a population that is only about 8 percent midwife users. When considering the small amount of midwife users, its reasonable to assume that the rate of c-sections preformed on only hospital birth mothers is higher than 31 percent, a massive discrepancy between hospital and midwife births. Minimal c-sections, as well as possibly extremely conservative use of intervention, in pregnancy lower the complications in birth seen by women and make for an overwhelming majority of children being delivered healthy and in the proper amount of time. 97 percent of children were carried full time while only 1 percent had to be transferred to the hospital for additional care. This study is an extremely strong argument point for the validity of midwifes as a safe birth option for mothers, as well as the possible health detriments and risks that are created by the extensive use of medical intervention in hospitals. The findings are a big shot to those claiming that midwife birth is reckless to child's health. After seeing the statistics of midwife birth, I was also interested to see the amount of mothers who have felt that hospital care and intervention was an overwhelming factor in complications of their child's health. While hospital intervention is considered by some to be a huge health risk, more people are completely unaware of the options available to them and the possible health hazards. When searching through cases, I could not find any lawsuits claiming that doctor intervention lead to a child's mortality. Almost all cases awarded were to mothers who had babies who suffered complications due to extreme doctor negligence, such as the use of excessive force to speed of labor when a babies shoulder was stuck, leading to permanent arm and shoulder injuries. (http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/jury-awards-million-in-childbirth-lawsuit-against-doctor/article_36157863-8910-53d4-ba02-cbcbe95348b4.html) I feel like the lack of intervention court cases displays to some level a sort of lack of understanding of the possible health problems that could arise from excessive medical intervention, either due to the fact that courts consider it a non-case because they are not aware of the risks or parents do not understand that intervention could lead to infant complications. While medical intervention rates continually rise, the importance of education and options being presented to families expecting is imperative to an infant's health.