Home births rise in the United States deflating the current myth that women chose out-of-hospital birth for “frivolous, selfish, or trendy reasons.”
Midwives have always placed a great deal of importance on the physical space for childbirth, the personal relationships of those who attend the birth, and the metaphysics of the birth spaces to which women will consciously or unconsciously respond. A new book details, for providers, just how critical these elements are to an optimal birth experience – and how most birthing women currently don’t have these options.
When some women are literally begging their midwife not to transfer them to a hospital because they can’t afford to pay the costs associated with a hospital birth, or women must spend part of their pregnancy searching for ways to pay for prenatal care instead of actually getting the care they need, we’re talking about a crisis of coverage in this country.
Whenever I think about midwifery as a career, I remember Sister Angela Murdaugh’s words: “Midwifery is a calling. If you do not believe that you were called, you should get out of midwifery.”
But, how do we know if we were called?
It’s National Midwifery Week! Today a male midwife asks how midwifery can guard against gender discrimination against male midwives while also honoring the rights of women who prefer female care providers.
The "perils of home birth"? How about "the perils of mainstream media coverage of home birth"? The Today Show mangles its portrayal of midwifery and out-of-hospital birth as excellent maternity care options.
Low-risk pregnant women who plan home births have lower rates of complications, newborn deaths (even if they require transfer to the hospital before delivery) than comparison group delivering in the hospital
— Canada study
Melissa Cheyney is a midwife and home birth advocate who has devoted her career to bringing new life into this world and who works to improve relationships between hospital and home birth providers.
Feministing blogger, radical doula, and RH Reality Check writer Miriam Perez and Steff Hedenkamp with The Big Push for Midwives campaign joined us for a live discussion. Read the transcript here.
Upwardly-mobile moms may finally be catching on to the benefits of midwifery and homebirth, but low-income women are still firmly planted in the hospital, most often with medicalized births overseen by doctors.