A deeper look at history explains why when it comes to midwife use, the US falls behind other affluent countries.

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Despite spending more per capita on health care than any other country, the U.S. has the highest rate of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth in the industrialized world. But what makes maternal healthcare in other affluent countries look so different than the U.S.? Among other things, midwives. Midwives in the U.S. participate in less than 10 percent of births. But in Sweden, Denmark and France, they lead around three quarters of deliveries. In Great Britain, they deliver half of all babies, including all three of Kate Middleton’s. So if the midwifery model works for royal babies, why not our own? Check out the video above to find out how midwives have been at the center of a culture war that’s deeply rooted in race and class in America.

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  1. In Australia, hospital maternity units are staffed mostly by midwives. Having all high risk pregnancies and successfully birthed 3 times in Australian Rural public hospitals that were overseen by midwives, I would actually not trust obstetricians to oversee my births; I would have likely been wheeled down to theatre for ‘emergency’ caesarean deliveries because my labours progressed differently from the average.
    I trust midwives to do the right thing by labouring mothers.

  2. I decided to take a midwife instead of a doctor for my current pregnancy. Doctors are not as attentive or caring as a midwife. Doctors prefer to give you pills over natural remedies if you have any problems. Midwifes prefer the more natural alternative possible. I personally do not trust doctors to deliver my baby. As a black women, I prefer my midwive. I don't want to be part of the death statistics black women go through in hospitals.

  3. This is a very good example of mixing correlation and causation. There is actually no evidence in this video to show that midwives are useful. There is still no denying that an actual doctor is more educated and works in an environment far better suited to handle any problems that could arise.

  4. My midwife left me when i couldn't push my daughter out on my own. With each contraction, my daughters heart rate dropped by half. My sister told the nurse at the nurses station
    Next thing i know, there's a dozen doctors in the room and they had to cut me twice and use forceps to pull her out. And the midwife left. She left. My daughter could have died or been brain damaged

  5. Wow. I had no idea. I've been birthing partner to two of my friends (in the UK) and I thought it was pretty much the same everywhere, that the midwives would handle it but keep the obstetrician informed…. If all goes smoothly there's no need but with the complications that my friend had, they called the obstetrician in early to advise. They seemed like a pretty professional team who made my friend feel as comfortable as in control as possible in a very stressful situation, and took good care of both her and her baby. Baby's grown up and gone to university now.

  6. in past surgergy was done without anesthia we cant say that as per history n culture we survived so will continue… similarly nurses shud delivery as they are trained profesionals ..

  7. Midwives are just as good as doctors if not better in some instances. My mom was a labor and delivery nurse turned midwife. She loves her patients and has better connections with them then the doctors. Midwives also work in hospitals not just doing home births.

  8. Very informative. There is a huge lack of respect for midwives even in my country. From the comments it seems like we have the same problem all over the world. We're supposed to work together.

  9. In the UK, midwives deliver half of all babies. Compare that to the US where midwives attend only around 10% of births, and maternal and infant mortality rates are much higher. Could a larger role for midwives improve health outcomes? Read more: http://bit.ly/2IYSvVw