America Misses Out on Midwives

The US leads the industrialized world in the rate of pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths, and the country's fraught relationship with midwives has a role to play, according to the final installment in a series on America’s maternal mortality crisis. Just 10% of the country’s births are midwife-assisted, while in Sweden, Denmark and France, midwives are involved in most deliveries.

Research shows that empowering midwives can improve infant and maternal health, and reduce racial disparity in childbirth. Yet restrictive midwifery laws and hostility to the profession embroil midwives in "a culture war that’s deeply rooted in race and class in America," writes Ranjani Chakraborty.


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