The Midwife: A Steadily Growing and Natural Childbirth Option

Another sign health care trends are shifting toward safer and more natural solutions: Midwives are becoming much more common childbirth options for mothers than ever before.

The numbers bear this trend out. The number of expectant mothers who have opted for midwives has doubled over the past 16 years. For example, 8 percent of mothers used a midwife in 2003, compared to 4 percent in 1990, based on numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The catch about using a midwife: Insurance plans cover midwives depending on their professional credentials, location and, unfortunately, availability in some areas due to the exploding cost of malpractice insurance.

The real benefit for parents is to experience the miracle of childbirth in a natural, peaceful and comforting setting of their choice without a health professional urging a mother to push, not a wise choice unless a baby needs to be born as soon as possible, or drugs.

If you're worried about the safety of natural birthing, especially at home, don't be. The rate of medical intervention among healthy mothers who opt for natural birthing techniques is far lower.

Yahoo News May 30, 2006

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