Medicine & Doctors · Public health

Shunned for Years, Can Trained Midwives Fix India’s Maternity Mess?

This article appeared in Quartz India on March 02, 2016. Here is the link.

Below is an extract:

By and large, the most persuasive argument for making midwives more mainstream in India is a feminist one. It can hardly be contested that the current system in which women receive care here is heavily biased towards the convenience of doctors and hospital management, frequently overlooking scientific evidence, health of the mother and baby, and human rights. Disrespect and abuse of women in public facilities, and unnecessary interventional practices in private facilities, are not uncommon; it is women who end up suffering the most.

Our singular focus on just the outcome (of reducing deaths) has sadly led to a gross neglect of the right methods to achieve it, with the health system forgetting that a pregnant woman is a human being (and “not a birthing machine”) who deserves to be treated respectfully and provided all information honestly. Midwives are an important part of the answer here as maternity systems with midwives tend to be more humanistic and personal, more respectful of women, and less interventional. …

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