More Montana Women Choosing Midwife Care.
Article by Sherry Bushnell, LM, CPM
According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the number of births attended by certified midwives and certified nurse-midwives has risen every year in the United States.
The latest available statistics show that 7.5 percent of all births, and 11 percent of all vaginal births, were attended by midwives in 2008. The majority of those births were still in a hospital, with about 2% occurring at home and another 2% in a facility such as a birth center.
Most families in Montana grow up with the idea of going to the hospital to give birth. Perhaps they have considered the idea of a having a midwife or thought, “maybe next time”. But more and more families are thinking of using a midwife first, and perhaps that “next time” is now for some mothers. I am seeing that more and more moms are choosing to think of using a midwife for their first birth.
Montana is very rural. Having a baby at home or birth center is more popular in areas closer to a city with a hospital nearby. Most families that live an hour or more from emergency birth resources either utilize a birth center or choose hospital care.
What is causing the rise in midwife care choices? Maybe it’s the trend towards having a “greener footprint,” or natural living, or perhaps also due to increased visibility of midwifery. But a good standard is bound to reap good reputation. Montana has been careful to allow out-of-hospital births for its citizens for years. Montana midwives are licensed and their services are covered by insurance plans. The path to becoming a licensed midwife in Montana is challenging.
I think that the appeal of a midwife-assisted differs from mom to mom. Primary reasons may include cost, comfort and privacy. Midwife care and birth at home or birth center is at least ½ of standard hospital charges. Some women also feel safer at home and more respected. There has also been a growing trend of more c-section deliveries in hospitals. Some women who have had a c-section are looking at home birth because they want to deliver naturally the next time. Due to insurance regulations in Montana and other states, few hospitals will consider a TOLAC (VBAC). Montana midwives still have the option of assessing risk factors and helping consumers make a safe choice for the birth of their baby, including a TOLAC.
We recognize that going to the hospital is a perfectly acceptable choice and there is no “right or wrong” about it. We see using a midwife as our preference for normal birth, but is not always best for every woman. What is right is for women to have a choice in child birth.
Women are becoming more educted about their choices. When options are limited, and women can’t get what they want at a hospital, they consider alternative health care. What ever reason researching the idea of midwife care means, we know that this is a personal choice, weighed with safety and wisdom. Montana midwives and nurse midwives are outstanding in their care of standard. We trust you will find that perfect fit and have a beautiful birth.