October 05, 2023
Celebrating National Midwifery Week 2023: Honoring Midwives in Childbirth Education Classes
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
As childbirth educators, we are on the front lines of preparing expectant parents for the incredible journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood. National Midwifery Week is the perfect occasion to honor and celebrate the essential role of midwives in delivering safe, holistic, and evidence-based care. In this blog post, we'll recognize the importance of National Midwifery Week and provide educators and others with up-to-date statistics on midwifery statistics that you can share with the families that you work with.
National Midwifery Week, observed from October 1st to 7th each year in the United States, is a time to shine a spotlight on the dedicated and skilled midwives who play a critical role in maternal and neonatal healthcare. This week-long celebration recognizes midwives' contributions to improving birth outcomes, reducing interventions, and fostering positive birthing experiences for countless families.
The Impact of Midwives
Cesarean Section Rates
Midwifery care is associated with significantly lower rates of cesarean sections. According to recent data, the cesarean section rate for midwifery-led births in the United States is around 12%, in stark contrast to the national average of over 30% for all births.
Reduction in Interventions
Midwives are known for their emphasis on physiological childbirth and the avoidance of unnecessary interventions. Studies show that midwifery-led care results in fewer interventions during childbirth, including episiotomies and the use of forceps or vacuum extraction.
High Patient Satisfaction
Midwifery care consistently garners high levels of patient satisfaction. Families who receive care from midwives report positive birthing experiences, attributing their satisfaction to the personalized, patient-centered approach that midwives provide.
Improved Neonatal Outcomes
Research indicates that midwifery-led care is linked to improved neonatal outcomes, including lower rates of preterm birth and low birth weight. Babies born under midwifery care tend to have better health outcomes.
Midwifery care is often more cost-effective than physician-led care. Recent data suggests that births attended by midwives, especially in birth centers, can result in substantial cost savings compared to hospital births.
Internationally, midwives are recognized by organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) for their crucial role in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates, particularly in underserved regions.
Access to Care
Midwives are instrumental in expanding access to prenatal and maternal care, especially in rural and underserved areas. Their ability to provide care in a variety of settings, including homes, birth centers, and hospitals, helps ensure that more women receive quality care during pregnancy and childbirth.
These statistics underscore the importance of midwifery care in promoting safe, evidence-based, and patient-centered childbirth experiences. They also highlight the potential for midwifery care to reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes for both birthing people and babies. As we celebrate National Midwifery Week 2023, educators can support and advocate for the invaluable contributions of midwives in maternal and neonatal healthcare
National Midwifery Week provides an excellent opportunity for childbirth educators to:
- Collaborate with local midwives to host informative workshops or panel discussions for expectant parents. Consider inviting a local midwife to your class for a brief Q&A.
- Share up-to-date statistics and research findings on midwifery care to reinforce the importance of informed decision-making.
- Celebrate the achievements of midwives in your community through interviews, blog posts, or social media campaigns.
- Advocate for the integration of midwifery care and education into mainstream maternal healthcare to improve outcomes for families.
- Help families find local midwives in your community if they are considering changing their health care provider and/or birth location.
National Midwifery Week 2023 serves as a reminder of the critical role midwives play in ensuring safe, empowering, and evidence-based care for expectant parents. As childbirth educators, our work in providing comprehensive education and support aligns perfectly with the goals of midwifery care. Together, childbirth educators and midwives support families to make informed choices and navigate their childbirth journeys with confidence, resulting in positive and memorable birth experiences.
TagsChildbirth education Midwifery National Midwifery Week Sharon Muza