Friday, February 22, 2008

Birth Center Article

A friend and fellow midwifery advocate sent me a link to this interesting article from the Lansing City Pulse. The article is titled "Outside the hospital: local women discover natural birth."

One of the focuses of the article is on Greenhouse Birth Center, a freestanding birth center located in Okemos, Michigan. I looked up their website. The Center appears to be staffed by CNM's and looks like a wonderful facility!

The article is quite good overall and I enjoyed the following quote:

"The science behind their choice is hotly debated, but the joy they exude from opting out of the hospital system blows your hair back." :-D

Also interesting was the interview snippets with local OBGYN (the assistant director of the OBGYN residency program at Sparrow Health System) who was really supportive of natural birth (and had one of her seven children at home in her bathroom and another at Greenhouse Birth Center).

Some quotes about the physician:

"However, Herta said the cesarean section rate at Sparrow is 'something horrendous, almost 30 percent'— about the same as the American norm.

'We do have very medicalized birth,' she said. 'But it’s not out of a desire for control or something like that.'

Herta said fear of malpractice is the driving force.

'You just start intervening and covering and documenting. When we sit and talk about cases, there’s always that component of, ‘well, somebody looking back could sue you for this.'"

I thought it was notable to read that it isn't only midwifery advocates who recognize that fear of malpractice is a primary driving force in maternity care rather than the actual needs of mothers and babies.

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