"There is a political and economic issue about controlling where birth happens, but also a deep belief by physicians that it's not safe to have your baby at home," Greenfield said. "Doctors see every home-birth patient who had a complication, but we don't see the ones that have these beautiful, fabulous babies at home who may breast-feed better or have less hospital-acquired infections. There may be medical benefits," she added.
"Midwifery needs to be regulated. It can't be under the radar because then it's dangerous," Greenfield said. "There has to be a regulatory process and a licensure process [to protect] women who are going to choose home birth anyway."
Visit the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives to learn more about this specialty.
SOURCES: Patricia Janssen, R.N., Ph.D., director, Master of Public Health Program, and associate professor, University of British Columbia, Canada; Marjorie Greenfield, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland; Sept. 15, 2009, CMAJ