Study: Call the Midwife, Not the Doctor

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Photo: iStockphoto

A new theater may be opening up in the mommy wars. According to a review of 16,242 pregnancies from medical-research database the Cochrane Library, midwives facilitate easier pregnancies and deliveries than doctors do for most women. Women who saw a small group of midwives were less likely to deliver early and required fewer interventions during delivery than women who saw a whole array of obstetricians, GPs, and midwives. They were less likely to lose their babies before 24 weeks, were happier with the care they received, and had fewer epidurals, fewer assisted births, and fewer episiotomies. More obvious, but equally important, given the recent reports on the growing costs of medicalized childbirth in the U.S., midwives were more cost-effective during labor. Based on what I know about midwife and ob-gyn relations (most of which comes from The Mindy Project), and considering how many people have firsthand experience with childbirth (everyone), I predict there are going to be a lot of opinions about this. It might be bigger than circumcision.

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