A Dramatic Jump in Maternal Mortalities
It never crosses our minds that a woman may not SURVIVE childbirth. We all know and accept babies sometimes die. But the moms, no way. A recent article from NPR illustrates the dramatic increase in Maternal death rate in the USA compared to other similar countries in the world. Women who have died in Childbirth in the United States have been memorialized in The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project.
Why is the Maternal Mortality Rate in the United States Increasing?
Maternal mortalities are occurring more often than they have in a long time because we have lost our faith in a woman’s ability to give birth without intervention. It is happening because of inductions and surgical birth. It is happening because VBAC is rarely available despite being much less risky for the mom. It is happening because most women are not taught how to care for themselves before and during pregnancy to avoid excessive weight gain, blood pressure disease and diabetes. It is happening because of lack of postpartum follow-up for complications like postpartum depression, blood pressure disease and infection. It is happening because women do not embrace childbirth as their right and obligation but actively work to avoid the pain, the work and the pushing. It is happening because of a rapidly growing problem of drug addiction leading to serious pregnancy complications. It is happening because malpractice lawyers have managed to convince juries that the doctor/midwife didn’t intervene with surgery soon enough to avoid a baby with a problem. The biggest reason for increasing maternal mortality is the continuing high number of surgical births in our country.
The Midwifery Model of Care Offers Solutions
The Midwifery Model of Care contains within it many of the solutions to the tragedy of higher maternal death rates because it focuses on each woman as an individual. Across all research studies, there was a significant decrease in cesarean section when patient care was primarily led by certified midwives (Barber et al., 2011; McLachlan et al., 2012; Prelec et al., 2014; Stapleton et al., 2013). Less cesarean births means fewer women die. Midwives are equipped to provide holistic care to women of all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic levels. Tell everyone you know to consider a Midwife for care. Women can join with Midwifery to make great change in this country. We cannot accept the current trend.
One mother lost is too many.