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How do midwives help to reduce pregnancy or birth complications?

Throughout many parts of Europe, midwives are responsible for delivering at least half of all babies born so that obstetricians can be freed up to focus their attention on more high-risk pregnancies and deliveries. In other countries like New Zealand and Canada, midwives are relied upon to manage particularly complex pregnancies and births.

In those countries in which midwives are relied upon heavily, infant or maternal mortality rates are significantly lower than they are in the United States.

Research shows that, in the U.S., the number of women suffering the most serious maternal complications has now doubled what it was 20 years ago. The suspected reasons for this increase is multi-faceted.

First, although hospitals exist in rural areas, at least 16 percent of them have decided to do away with obstetric services since 2004. Another problem is that research shows that as many as one-half of all U.S. counties fail to employ their own obstetrician-gynecologist.

To make matters worse, midwives only deliver 10 percent of all babies. How involved they can be in the childbirth process is heavily regulated and varies on a state-by-state basis.

New Mexico is one of the few states where state legislators have repeatedly voted to allow midwives the ability to take on more responsibilities in taking care of pregnant moms and delivering babies.

They've likely been influenced by studies that show that midwifery care results is not just a more cost-effective option for managing pregnancy and childbirth, but it involves less interventions needing to be taken. It also results in better outcomes for mom and baby.Some researchers note that, in analyzing birth complications, they tend to be highest among less affluent or minority populations. It's believed that these individuals either receive inferior or less frequent care. By making midwives more accessible to them, it's thought that many of these women could experience improved outcomes.

If you've experienced complications during pregnancy or childbirth after receiving of inadequate medical intervention, then a Los Lunas medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your rights to sue for negligence.

Source: WBUR, "Does a larger role for midwives mean better care?," Nina Martin, Feb. 22, 2018

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