Saturday, October 11, 2008

Midwives are shown to have best outcomes for women.

It is really great to see a positive story about midwives in the press: I came across this story in the Sydney morning Herald. It is nothing any midwife does not already know, but it is good to see in print and raises our profile.
The story talks about midwives being the best option in terms of midwifery led care for women during pregnancy.
Kate Benson writes
Women who are cared for by midwives rather than GPs or obstetricians are less likely to lose their babies within the first six months of their pregnancies, an international review of maternity services has found. Researchers gave no reasons for the shock finding, taken from an analysis of 11 trials involving more than 12,200 women in four countries, but a spokeswoman for the Australian College of Midwives, Hannah Dahlen, said women who were seen by the same midwife during pregnancy, labour and birth usually felt more supported and less anxious, leading to reduced risk of miscarriage.

What a surprise to see that the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, are not happy with these findings. It is a shame that collaboration is not the focus.
The analysis, which is the largest undertaken in the world, also found that women in midwife-led models of care were less likely to be admitted to hospital during pregnancy, have instrumental deliveries, episiotomies or require analgesia and were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births, feel in control during labour and better able to initiate breastfeeding.

The Australian college of Midwives spokes person Dr Dahlen said
the analysis, published by the Cochrane collaboration, considered the gold standard of assessing medical evidence, proved that midwife-led models of care had no adverse outcomes and many benefits.
"If this was a tablet, it would be mandatory that all women have it, but instead we have to deal with all this shroud waving by obstetricians. Now we know the evidence for their claims just isn't there,"

What a good analogy from Hannah Dahlen. Off course this is nothing new for midwives, we have always argued that midwifery-led care offers more for women and would reduce the Cesarean rate which is currently at 31%.
Our government needs to work towards more midwifery-led models of care and obstetricians need to start collaborating with midwives rather than always opposing us, after all we all want the same thing, informed choice for women and safe birthing options.

We need to listen to what women want, and stop being paternalistic.

Reference: Sydney Herald:

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