Births which are attended by midwives are at least 50 per cent less likely to end in a cesarean section. About a quarter of all babies in the US are born by cesarean, yet the rate was just 12 per cent for those births attended by a midwife. Even wome
These findings have been made by the Public Citizen Health Research Group, the consumer advocates.
The group is to lobby to change state laws to encourage a more active and higher profile role for nurse midwives.
Certified nurse midwives delivered just 5 per cent of all births in the US in 1992; of these, 95 per cent were delivered in hospital, with most of the other births occurring in birthing centres. Only a very small proportion of births occurred in the mother's home.
Although those births delivered by midwives were in the low risk category, the group believes that midwives could deliver moderate to high risk pregnancies as well (BMJ, November 25, 1995).