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Midwife-led care helps reduces the rate of unnecessary c-section births, study finds

The number of women giving birth via caesarean section (c-section) has continued to rise over the past decade.

Caesarian sections are surgical procedures that are undertaken by medical professionals for medical reasons, in order to save the life of a woman and her infant. 

However, many medical experts believe there are often high numbers of unnecessary c-sections administered, without a medical reason, which can put mom and baby at risk.

A new study finds the midwife-led model of hospital care is associated with fewer c-sections.

Midwives reduce unnecessary caesarean births, study finds

Researchers at Deakin University in Australia analysed 330 babies born at Horsham’s Wimmera Base Hospital in 2017. Of these, 31.4 per cent were c-sections with spontaneous labor and 29.7 per cent with induced labor.

The study found that midwifery services helped to reduce the number of caesarean deliveries that were often low risk.

High risk cases occur when women have diabetes, high blood pressure or when the baby is not in the right position for vaginal labor. 

Lead researcher Professor Alison Hutchinson shares, “It’s a major operation for the mother. There’s the risk of infection, a lot of pain, a slower recovery and they’re more likely to have challenges with breastfeeding,” she said.

“Midwives use a lot of effective strategies to assist women through labor. They can really help coach and support women to birth their baby naturally using movement, positional changes and massage.” 

Medical professional says midwives are present for low risk cases

Wimmera Health Care Group obstetrician Dr Yakep Angue says midwives are mostly only present in cases that are low risk.

“[Midwives] connect very well with the patients. They tend to get a good outcome. They see them on a regular basis. With specialists, they get referred to us only for a short time,” he tells The Wimmera Mail-Times.

“Doctors tend to deal with high-risk cases – those who are unlikely to deliver naturally.”

Access recipes and exercises to help you stay healthy while breastfeeding.

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