Saturday, August 2, 2008

Miami Dade College Suspends Midwifery Program

This should be a sad day for women as the only institution of higher education in the U.S. that offers direct-entry midwifery education, closes the program for supposed financial reasons.

As of the 2008 estimates in The World Factbook by the CIA, the United States ranks 42nd on the infant mortality list. With 6.3 deaths per 1000 live births, the U.S. trails behind Canada and most of Europe. Yet, we have the most "modern" and medicalized healthcare system in the world.

One in three births in the U.S. are by Cesarian section with an increasing maternal mortality rate as well. As OBGYNs are fleeing their obstetric practices due to rising malpractice costs and the threat of litigation, pregnant women have had decreased options for safe and effective maternal care.

Midwives step in and provide low cost care to healthy, low-risk pregnant women. There are minimal interventions and care can be coordinated with obstetricians in order to provide the most effective care for high-risk women.

A key to remember is that doctors are trained to identify and treat pathology. In most cases, pregnancy is not a state of ill-health or disease. Women have been giving birth since the dawn of time, assisted by other women, midwives.

Please, ladies, gentlemen, if you care about the increasing infant mortality rate, increasing c-sections, and a woman's right to choose a safe alternative for maternity care, stand up and say something about this.