Controversies in Childbirth Essay

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Controversies in Childbirth
The United States still has one of the highest infant mortality rates as reported by CIA World Fact Book “United States 6.06 per 1,000” (Field Listing, 2008 p.1), as compared to other high income countries who employ midwives as mainstream for low-risk pregnant women. Research shows that midwife-attended births have fewer interventions, lower c-section rates, and offer more personal care for pregnant women. The problem with the current form of obstetrical care in the United States is the uncritical acceptance of an unscientific method: the routine use of interventionist obstetrics for healthy women with normal pregnancies in contrast to a midwifery model of care for pregnant women. Should the medical
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By 1938, the number had shrunk to half. Today the number is less than 1 percent.” (qtd. in The Business of Being Born,2007). 1909, Hannah Porn was arrested and jailed for 3 months; her only crime was that she “was a practicing midwife” (p.1022). That same year, Massachusetts became the first state to outlaw midwives, and other states were soon to follow. As concluded in the book Remarks on the Employment of Females as Practitioners in Midwifery "Both the character and education of women disqualify them for the office."(1820 p. 4). "Legalizing the midwife will work a definite hardship to those physicians who have become well-trained in obstetrics for it will have a definite tendency to decrease their sphere of influence." (Huntington, MD; 1913). Dr. Holms in 1920 stated, "Only the properly trained physician who has acquired surgical technique with specialty training in obstetric physiology and pathology is competent to circumvent the many ills of childbirth." This was the beginning of the push for the ending of midwifery (Dr. Neal Devitt’s Thesis). The Committee on Maternal Welfare of the Philadelphia County Medical Society (1934) “expressed concern over the rate of deaths of infants from birth injuries increased 62% from 1920 to 1929.” This was happening concurrently to the decline in midwife-attended births and the increase in surgical obstetrical births. As explained by a simple Freudian concept,
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