She Practices What She Preaches

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As one might have guessed from my wife’s article on midwifery, she delivered our second child at home with the aid of midwives. Madeleine Michelle Carson was born at 10:50 Tuesday night September the 13th weighing 8 lbs. 1 oz.

With no drugs to dull the experience, Heather said this was the hardest work she had ever done in her life. On the other hand, the benefits we were hoping for by using midwives were fully realized. For example, some preventative measures they recommended throughout the pregnancy helped my wife avoid a problem she had had with the first pregnancy.

As another example, in both deliveries we were faced with a similar obstacle. In the first delivery in the hospital the doctors handled the obstacle through intervention that led to other problems. This time the midwives found a way to keep the natural process going and prevented further complications.

I might also note that insurance companies were not involved this time. We paid the midwives directly and the total cost was about 1/10th of our first delivery (considering the total cost paid the first time by both us and the insurance company). Unfortunately, the incentives of our screwed up medical insurance system are such that despite the extremely reasonable charges of the midwives, and their superior service, there is still a slight out of pocket advantage in going with the hospitals and health insurance. The mind boggles to consider the medical resources that would be freed up for more important uses if most people used midwives leaving doctors and hospitals for people that are sick and injured. As my wife pointed out in her article, birth is not a medical problem, it is a natural function of a woman’s body. (Of course, for certain sorts of problems doctors are the way to go. Even midwives will send Moms for a C-section in certain situations, e.g. placenta previa. But with doctors in charge of births, “problems” occur a lot more often. C-sections, for example, happen about 1-2% of the time with midwives, about 25% of the time with doctors).

12:21 am on September 15, 2005