Stand: März 2013
The birthing process has become highly medicalized over the past several decades. Television representations of birthing experiences often depict a frantic woman and her loved ones packing up overnight bags and racing through traffic the moment contractions begin, only to arrive panic-stricken at a nearby hospital, where she demands prescription pain-killers and groans in agony. What if TV showed a birthing woman was driven to a birth center, instead? Or what if she calmly called her midwife, and gave birth in her own home?
The National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) advocates for a birthing woman to be able to choose the provider and birth setting that will support her in having a birth experience that meets her needs and preferences. Pregnancy and birth are routine life events, and the vast majority don’t require medical intervention. However, the current C-section rate in the U.S. is 33 percent, making it the most common inpatient procedure in the country despite the fact that the World Health Organization estimates that C-sections are necessary in only five to ten percent of births. While this surgery can be life-saving when needed, current practices are subjecting many women to unnecessary major abdominal surgery. We believe that for a healthy woman with a low-risk pregnancy, birthing in a birth center or at home with a midwife is a safe option and that it should be far more widely available.
This week, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is holding a workshop to explore “Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings,” and NWHN staff will be there to hear and contribute to the discussion of how research can improve our understanding of the effects of different birth settings, including hospitals, birth centers and home births, on women’s labor experiences and birth outcomes. My hope is that this will not only lead to a newly focused and effective research agenda on birth settings, but thatwe will be able to strengthen our advocacy for expanding women’s access to different birth settings by bringing the IOM’s credibility to the existing body of evidence which demonstrates that birth outside of hospitals can be a safe and appropriate choice.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, women enrolled in Medicaid who want to give birth in a free-standing birth center with a trained midwife now have coverage for that option. We would like that coverage requirement to be extended to all women, including those with private insurance, so that every woman has the opportunity to choose the course of her own birthing experience.
I need your help in spreading the word about this issue. If you have a daughter, niece, sister or friend who’s pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, let them know that women who give birth in birth centers have equal or better outcomes than in hospitals, and at a much lower cost! Tell the women in your life that this is an option for them, and stay tuned for more information from the NWHN about birth settings.
Mehr Info unter: https://nwhn.org