Some women have a desire to give birth to their babies outside of the hospital setting. The reasons are many, and given that we help mothers and babies harmed by doctors we understand why a mother may want to go with a midwife instead.
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However, not all midwives are equal. A new study in Oklahoma finds that there is a lot of unaccountability in midwife practices and babies are dying as a result. Helena World has the story.
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In 2017 and 2018, legislators tried to regulate out-of-hospital births but the bills failed to pass after efforts by midwife organizations in the state. Oklahoma has one of the poorest records for birth injuries and fatalities in the nation. A media investigation studied public records, including social media, and found at least seven deaths were caused by midwives in 2018. Medical reviews were requested and it was found that they were preventable.
Many of the midwives in the state are not medically licensed in any way, nor are they investigated or disciplined by any state agency. While only a few hundred women each year go for this an out-of-hospital birth in Oklahoma, the death rate is much higher.
Oklahoma’s rules are lax about this, but the state Attorney General is paying attention. They filed charges for the first time for a non-nurse midwife who practiced without a license. They administered medication and preformed an episiotomy.
Much more detail, including profiles of some of the babies who died, can be found at the link.