Your Right to Choose a Midwife
Many families wonder why they are not informed by their doctor about the option of a midwife. Some physicians may support a families right to choose a midwife, but unlike other countries, here in the United States it is quite rare for medical doctors to inform their patients of the option of a midwife, even when they know it is available and appropriate for healthy women. The reason why is typically because of the doctor's narrow perspective of childbirth safety, and his personal or philosophical beliefs that conflict with the midwife model of care.
Keep in mind that mainstream medical doctors are trained to treat all pregnant women as high risk, whether they are healthy or not. Therefore, they commonly choose to withhold information about using a midwife, even when it is an appropriate option for low-risk women. This is almost universally due to the medical fear-based approach to maternity care, combined with the medical disinformation common in the United States, much of which originates from ACOG and the AMA (trade unions representing the financial and professional interests of obstetricians and physicians).
For an example of this type of disinformation, read this article by Henci Goer: The Assault on Normal Birth: The OB Disinformation Campaign and this recent news post on The Medical Establishment's Ridiculous Opposition to HomeBirths.
Of course, there are a few rare medical conditions that would require the care of a high risk specialist (for some examples of these see our Frequently Asked Questions Page).
Nevertheless, studies upon studies have shown that planning a Midwife Led home birth with a Certified Professional Midwife is a great choice if you want to avoid unnecessary medical intervention.
Midwives are experts in supporting the physiological birth process: monitoring you and your baby during labor, helping you into positions that help labor progress, protecting your pelvic parts from damage while you push, and "catching" the baby from the position that's most effective and comfortable for you – hands and knees, squatting, even standing – not the position most comfortable for the healthcare provider.
When healthy women are supported this way, over 98% can give birth safely, with little or no intervention at all.
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