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8-24-12: Midwifery in Practice
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This segment originally aired on June 8, 2011.
In the U. S., the majority of midwife-attended births take place in hospitals…but many people still associate midwives with births that take place outside the hospital—at home, or in a free-standing birth center.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, in 2006, fewer than 1 percent of all births in Maryland took place outside of a hospital—though that number is rising. The CDC found that the number of mothers opting for out-of-hospital birth had risen by 35 percent from three years prior.
In this segment, we hear perspectives from those who are familiar with midwife-attended births– at home, in birth centers, and in hospitals–and we discuss the possible problems when a direct-entry midwife (who may not be licensed) must transfer care to a physician at a hospital.
Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently formed a workgroup that will look at midwife licensure, and the shortage of midwives in the state. The workgroup will deliver a final report and recommendations to the General Assembly by the beginning of next year.
And, here's a link to the failed bill in the 2012 General Assembly that would have provided a pathway to licensure for midwives in Maryland.
If you'd like to find out more about midwifery in Maryland, check out our series, "The Practice of Midwifery in Maryland".