California College of Midwives
Legislative Fact Sheet with Citations
Midwifery Model of Care
Preventing unnecessary cesareans surgery
prevents avoidable maternal deaths
Midwifery is preventative care, substantially reducing the number of unnecessary cesareans and other surgical births without any added perinatal mortality or morbidity.
The Midwifery model of care reduces the expense of surgery, the pain and personal suffering and the additional maternal deaths associated with surgical interventions . It also spares mother and baby the interruption of bonding that accompanies surgical delivery. Babies born vaginally are usually born when they are ready, rather than prematurely by surgery.
Advantages to the baby of spontaneous vaginal birth:
have higher apgar scores
are much more likely to be born with healthy lungs
can enjoy early and frequent contact with their mothers
are much more likely to be breastfed and to be nursed for a longer time span
have the benefit of a surge of the hormones catecholamies, which are essential for survival
Advantages to Mothers who have a vaginal birth / VBAC
Feel more attached to the baby sooner
Recovery more quickly, sometimes by many months
much less likely to have an infection (drops from a high of 35% down to 2 - 4%)
With a vaginal birth, the parents usually save out-of-pocket money because of shorter (or no) hospital stay, no operating room costs and fewer (or no) drugs and less (or no) anesthesia
Abstracted from "Vaginal Birth After Cesarean -- A Primer for Success", Diane Korte, Mothering Magazine, July-August 1998, pages 54 -- 61
Misplaced Fear May Spur Many Cesareans Performed by Physicians:
Much of the dramatic rise in US cesarean births in recent decades can be attributed to fears that are not based in fact, said Dr. Edward Quilligan, executive directors of medical education at Long Beach (Calif.) Medical Center.
Between 1970 and 1983 cesarean birth jumped from less than 6% to 23% nationwide. ....the overall rate remains high because physicians fear the increased risk of maternal & fetal complication...
In spite of these fears, there are no studies showing the routine use of cesarean delivery appreciably decreases risks to either mother or infant. ....results of studies indicate that only about 10-15% of brain injuries (in newborns) occur during labor and delivery..Ob-Gyn News, September 1, 1998, page 38