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Extinction of midwives

April 2012

Extinction of midwives

There is a demise of traditional midwifery and a trend to treat childbirth as an illness, not an act of love, a report has claimed.
    Writing for The Ecologist, Matilda Lee said, ‘Women-centred maternity care through midwifery is in danger of extinction, replaced by a medical model that treats birth as an illness. Birth is an act of love, not one of fear and loathing’.
      According to the report, traditional midwifery is actually banned in some states in the US, while many face persecution. It said, ‘UK midwifery is undergoing a crisis in numbers and identity. The decline in one-on-one care for women before, during and after labour has had a number of profound implications.
    ‘This includes a rising number of interventions in birth, an increase in Caesarean sections and declining rates of breastfeeding’.
    The Ecologist report pointed to a recent petition lodged with the UK parliament by Cathy Warwick, general-secretary of the Royal College of Midwives. This calls on government to recruit an extra 5,000 midwives into the NHS in England, to fill a ‘desperate shortfall’.


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