Birth is normal
Who chooses?
A World Perspective
Legal status in MA

Johanna with her newborn
Kat with William
Nethal with Hafsa

Midwifery - a World Perspective
Prior to events of the past century (social and political events affecting midwifery and medicine far beyond the scope of this article) homebirth was the way in which all of our descendents entered into the world and midwives were there for most of them! Judging from our species’ survival record – women’s ability to give birth and the ancient art of midwifery have certainly been time tested! In fact today, throughout most of the world, most babies are still born into the hands of midwives. With improved practice and educational opportunities, once forbidden to - but now being returned to midwives, midwifery care today is regarded by international and national health organizations as the surest way of helping healthy mothers and babies into the world. It is the optimal, safest, and most desirable form of maternity care for the “low-risk” woman. It is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. Midwives believe in the power and knowledge of a woman’s body, and are advocates of a woman’s right to choose her place of birth. This model of care has been proven to result in fewer unnecessary interventions, reduce the incidence of low birth-weight babies, save millions of dollars in health care costs, and is preferred by most women who have previously experienced midwifery care.

Today, throughout most of the world, most babies are still born into the hands of midwives.

In the USA - the facts:
Having access to technological advances does not guarantee better outcomes! In 2000, according to the World Health Organization, The United States ranked 35th in infant mortality (7.5 infant deaths per 1000 live births), along with Cuba and Slovakia - out of the 191 countries surveyed. 25 European countries ranked better, many of which use a far greater percentage of midwives. The nation with the best outcome was Iceland, with 2.4 infant deaths per 1000 live births.

Of the 60 countries known to provide the most dependable data of vital statistics, the WHO also concluded that The United States ranked 28th along with France, Israel and Slovenia in maternal mortality (17 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births). The best outcome was found in Sweden with 2 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.