America (and particularly my home state of Virginia) is seeing an explosion in the number of midwives….and this is a bad trend! I see many complicated deliveries where a fetus becomes entangled in the umbilical cord or caught in the birth canal due to the large size of the fetus or the smallness of the mother’s pelvis. Both of these situations are medical emergencies and require the immediate attention of well-trained obstetrician or maternal-fetal specialist in a hospital setting. These life or death situations do not, in my opinion, call for delivery by a widwife in the patient’s home…where there is often inadequate time to transfer a patient to the hospital after a delivery becomes complicated.
I just reviewed the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) website which states as follows about how the state of Virginia is approaching the issue of midwives, “Midwives, consumers and supporters in the legislature had the amazing foresight to include an explicit reference to the NACPM Standards of Practice in the legislation to license CPMs in Virginia.” The NACPM website goes on to state that Virginia did a good thing by making specific reference to NACPM standards, because otherwise the Virginia Board of Medicine would not know what standards are applicable.
What a bunch of hooey! Want to know what the NACPM’s first identified “Philosophy and Priciples of Practice is? How about, “NACPM members respect the mystery, sanctity and potential for growth inherent in the experience of pregnancy and birth.”
My Take: Virginians deserve better medical care…it’s not a mystery people….its medicine!