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Looking Forward



Looking Forward

There is hope for the future of our country’s mothers and babies if a sensible health policy is developed which implements the evidence-based changes we so desperately need. Forty years of research data demonstrates that practices consistent with the Midwives Model of Care achieve superior results in maternal and neonatal outcomes and decrease costs.

Yet, technology-focused care continues to rise in the US, increasing expenditure without producing better health, and costs for childbirth services have exploded. Cesarean section, with all its attendant risks and costs, has become the most frequently performed surgery in the nation; premature deliveries are on the upswing; Neonatal Intensive Care Units are overflowing; and too few babies are being successfully breastfed. Sadly, the United States of America is at the bottom of the world’s health care statistics heap except for one outstanding benchmark: we outspend everyone in the world when it comes to pregnancy and birth.

Consumer demand for the Midwives Model of Care has grown nationwide. Midwives are the specialists in care for low-risk pregnant women and their babies. Physicians are the specialists in care for pregnant women who are ill or experiencing complications. In the countries with lower costs and better results, midwives greatly outnumber obstetricians.

Birth is the place to begin building a positive future for South Carolina. Safe, effective and satisfying maternity care starts with evidence-based health policy. We should begin that future now.

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“Hospitals, health systems and public programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, should ensure that enrollees have access to midwives and the midwifery model of care by eliminating barriers to access and inequitable reimbursement rates that discriminate against midwives.

State legislatures should enact laws that base entry-to-practice standards on successful completion of accredited education programs, or the equivalent, and national certification; do not require midwives to be directed or supervised by other health care practitioners; and allow midwives to own or co-own health care practices.”

Charting a Course for the 21st Century: The Future of Midwifery
Pew Health Professions Commission and UCSF Center for Health Professions; 1999


“At last, I should like to give this answer to the question: Why midwifery?

Midwifery is indispensable and an essential part of good obstetrical organization, since midwifery means: protection of health and normality, whereas obstetrics, as part of medicine, belongs to the department of knowledge and practice dealing with disease and its treatment.

To start a pregnancy, you need a woman and a man; their functions are different, but everybody will hope that they will love one another, respect and admire one another. To care for pregnancy and childbirth, you need a midwife and a doctor. I hope that they will love one another, respect and admire one another and will know that they are both needed and complementary.”

Why Midwifery?; G.J. Kloosterman, MD;
The Practicing Midwife, Spring 1985