The Midwifery Model of Care embraces the normalcy of the birthing process. It is a style of well-women care with increased prenatal support and fewer interventions in the actual birth whether that takes place in a hospital, a birthing center or at home. It has been indisputably shown that midwives offer a substantive contribution to the long and short term health of mother, child and family.
Principles of Midwifery
- Birth is a normal, natural, and healthy process.
Women and babies have the inherent wisdom necessary for birth.
- Babies are aware, sensitive human beings at the time of birth, and should be acknowledged and treated as such.
- Breastfeeding provides the optimum nourishment for newborns and infants.
Birth can safely take place in hospitals, birth centers, and homes.
- The midwifery model of care, which supports and protects the normal birth process, is the most appropriate for the majority of women during pregnancy and birth.
Healthier Outcomes and Financial Savings
- In spite of spending far more money per capita on maternity and newborn care than any other country, the United States falls far behind most industrialized countries in infant and maternal mortality. Maternal mortality is four times greater for African-American women than for Euro-American women.
- Midwives attend the vast majority of births in the industrialized countries with the best outcomes, yet in the United States, midwives are the principal attendants at only a small percentage of births;
- Current maternity and newborn practices that contribute to high costs and inferior outcomes include the inappropriate application of technology and routine procedures that are not based on scientific evidence;
- Increased dependence on technology has diminished confidence in women’s innate ability to give birth without intervention;
- The integrity of the mother-child relationship, which begins in pregnancy, is compromised by the obstetrical treatment of mother and baby as if they were separate units with conflicting needs;
- Although breastfeeding has been scientifically shown to provide optimum health, nutritional, and developmental benefits to newborns and their mothers, only a fraction of U.S. mothers are fully breastfeeding their babies by the age of six weeks;
- The current maternity care system in the United States does not provide equal access to health care resources for women from disadvantaged population groups, women without insurance, and women whose insurance dictates caregivers or place of birth.