Unfortunately, I don’t subscribe to The Sun, so I don’t get access to the full interview, but the online version of Pat Macenulty’s interview with well-known American midwife Ina May Gaskin is still worth reading.
Gaskin’s books are among my favorites in my library of birth-related books…and for my doula clients, too. I haven’t read her newest book, Birth Matters, yet, but it’s on the list. In the meantime there are good juicy quotes from the article to ponder…like this one:
The U.S. maternal death rate steadily decreased between 1936 and 1982. At that point it leveled off for a few years and then began rising. Women today actually face twice the chance that their mothers did of dying from pregnancy-related causes. We should be studying what’s behind this backward trend, especially since it is not happening in other developed countries. And, I must add, there simply aren’t enough planned home births — about twenty-eight thousand births per year out of a total of 4.2 million — to account for this unacceptable increase. [my emphasis] Though home births increased 20 percent between 2004 and 2008, still less than 1 percent of all U.S. births are planned home births. But that doesn’t stop some in the medical profession from trying to use midwives as scapegoats for shortcomings in our country’s system.