Midwifery Can Make Giving Birth Safer and Less Expensive

A research conducted at the University of Sidney revealed that women who receive midwifery care since the beginning of their pregnancy are less likely to require interventions during birth, compared to the ones cared for by private practice.

The research analyzed all the three types of pregnancy care offered by the Royal Hospital for Women – midwifery care, standard hospital care and private practice care.

Midwifery Can Make Giving Birth Safer and Less Expensive

Less Risks, More Satisfaction

The study shows that first time mothers categorized as “low risk” who received  midwifery care had a rate of 58.5% to deliver via natural birth, this including a spontaneous triggered birth, followed by an unassisted delivery. The rate of women who gave birth in the same way is 48.2% for those who received hospital standard care and 30.8 for those on obstetric care.

Also, women who received caseload midwifery care were ten times less likely to ask for a caesarean or for pain relief medicine, like analgesia and epidural.

Savings are Considerable

Talking numbers, caseload midwifery care turned out to be much cheaper than previously thought. For every pregnant woman who chose midwifery there was a saving of $1000 in every financial year. These money could be used for other medical care, improving some of the current services in some other areas. A previous study conducted by a research team from the same University of Sydney showed that midwifery care is $500.000 more cost-efficient compared to standard hospital care.

Quality Over Quantity

The lead author of the study pointed out that one of the main reasons for women’s hospitalization is childbirth. She also said the current structure of hospital care cannot offer the value expected by pregnant mother due to financial reasons.  Midwifery care also has an effect upon the psychology of pregnant women: being able to get to know their midwife during pregnancy and build a trustful relationship with her, make women more confident. As a consequence, they will undergo labor less scared and they will spend less days in hospital.

Better, But Scarcely Found

Even if the study concluded caseload midwifery is more efficient and satisfactory, there are few hospitals which offer this type of services and many women are forced to turn to traditional care due to lack of places. At the Royal Hospital for Women there is a long list of waiting pregnant mothers who want to enroll on caseload midwifery, but more than 240 don’t get the chance to receive it.

Researchers concluded that midwifery can help leveling up the costs of childbirth and release part of the burden carried by the public health care system.


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