The culture war between doctors and midwives, explained

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  • Published on:  Tuesday, May 29, 2018
  • A deeper look at history explains why when it comes to midwife use, the US falls behind other affluent countries.

    Read more in ProPublica's story here:

    And catch their latest in maternal mortality reporting here:

    Despite spending more per capita on health care than any other country, the U.S. has the highest rate of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth in the industrialized world. But what makes maternal healthcare in other affluent countries look so different than the U.S.? Among other things, midwives. Midwives in the U.S. participate in less than 10 percent of births. But in Sweden, Denmark and France, they lead around three quarters of deliveries. In Great Britain, they deliver half of all babies, including all three of Kate Middleton’s. So if the midwifery model works for royal babies, why not our own? Check out the video above to find out how midwives have been at the center of a culture war that’s deeply rooted in race and class in America.

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  • Vox
    Vox  a years ago +657

    In the UK, midwives deliver half of all babies. Compare that to the US where midwives attend only around 10% of births, and maternal and infant mortality rates are much higher. Could a larger role for midwives improve health outcomes? Read more:

  • shinada2
    shinada2  21 days ago

    It's not like the midwives in Europe are taking over from doctors. They work together. I will be having one or two midwives plus a doctor when I give birth. They act as more personalized care and an advocate for the mother.

  • DannyDaDuffyDucking Daffer

    Would be nice to have a clear definition or something
    I guess just nurses

  • KaedinKane
    KaedinKane  28 days ago

    Well this was intellectually dishonest, this was basically why midwives are good according to midwives.

  • Ishika Patel
    Ishika Patel  28 days ago

    I’m shocked since in the uk from the time a woman is pregnant to until she gives birth she’s in a midwife’s care, I could not thank those midwifes enough for taking such good care of my mum when she had my baby sister and me

  • Nur ein Mädchen
    Nur ein Mädchen  a months ago


  • lorraine uy
    lorraine uy  a months ago

    As a student nurse I can fully appreciate the collaboration it takes amongst all medical professionals

  • Molly From Michigan
    Molly From Michigan  a months ago

    I’m American and I used midwives through Planned Parenthood. Although, I think there are many reasons why maternal mortality is higher in America—obesity, drugs, lack of healthcare...

  • Third eye
    Third eye  a months ago

    In the UK, Nursing and Midwifery are separate professions, although have the same professional regulator, it doesn't exclude you from being dual registered. Both usually require 3 year uni degrees and have a heavy focus on hundreds of hours of unpaid practice before you register. They have to register with the NMC so you're accountable to the public. Midwifery is much more autonomous across Europe compared to the US. Obs/junior doctors are available in the hospital setting, but midwifery is usually community-based for patients. Health Visitors (usually nurses that have done a Masters in public health nursing) also play a huge role in conjunction with midwives to ensure continuity of care postpartum.

  • dead beat
    dead beat  a months ago

    A lot of American doctors operate in line with their racist & sexist biases - subconscious or not

  • John Bosco
    John Bosco  2 months ago

    The mortally rate is recorded differently in the US then the rest of the world. If they use the same criteria our mortally rate for babies is lower.

  • cheryl parker
    cheryl parker  2 months ago

    We simply cant have nothing

  • Qwertyuiop Lkjhgfdsazxcvbnm

    anyone else watching this after reading Educated

  • This Girl Can't Do Makeup

    Mid wife is the way to go! Women who deliver have less complications and tear way less!

  • Maria Vazquez
    Maria Vazquez  2 months ago

    Un Europe midwifes are special nurses, not doulas.

  • That Male Nurse
    That Male Nurse  2 months ago

    Midwives can only care for stable births and any time a complication occurs a doctor takes over. Simply put doctors are better and safer

  • Roberto Guillen
    Roberto Guillen  2 months ago

    5:05 The American COLLEGE....not Congress of Obstetricians ....

  • Misshi_rhyze 83
    Misshi_rhyze 83  2 months ago

    I had a midwife 2007, 2008 hospital doctor 2010. Midwifery is vital to the health care in this country.

  • varunthedoc
    varunthedoc  3 months ago

    US is best at monetizing things....anything....

  • waligo bashir
    waligo bashir  3 months ago

    Rigging the system for whites