St. Vincent Hospital, in Greenwich Village, Manhattan closed its doors, and had it’s last mom deliver her baby yesterday morning. Very happy for her, very sad for the staff and the moms of NY. St. Vincent had been serving New York women for 160 years (!) but had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, finally closing its doors late Thursday.
St. Vincent Hospital was ‘extremely midwife friendly‘ and had an overall philosophy of ‘minimally invasive obstetrics.’ “The array of alternatives at St. Vincent’s, in Greenwich Village, was about as extensive as any pregnant women could want, whether you require a planned Caesarean or you want to give birth at home on your couch, it was geared for everything.”
Kaiser Permanante, a large hospital chain, recently introduced a new nurse-midwifery program to their Hawaii hospital. The nurse-midwives work in a team with doctors where the midwives are assigned to women who are expected to have a normal, uncomplicated birth. The doctors are available should any unforeseen situation arise. So far, the birthing women love the new arrangement and the doctors are ‘ecstatic’. WOW! That’s just great! It’s just another example of how changes in approach and attitude can work wonders in the favor of birthing women, midwives and doctors. It didn’t hurt that the head of obstetrics at KP saw the integration of midwives as “a big dream I had from years ago.” He was partially trained by midwives while in residency, and midwives have been an integral part of the team at several hospitals he worked at.
Stats from 2006 and 2007 on hospital birth, outcomes and payment are out.
I will pull some interesting figures:
-In 2007, there were more than 4.3 million births — the largest number ever registered — in the United States.
-Cesarean section was the most common operating room procedure in the country in 2007, with a cumulative increase from 1997-2007 of 85%.
-The rate of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) within childbirth-related hospitalizations was 9.7% in 2006, a decline of 73% from 1997, when the VBAC rate was 35.3%
-In 2006, combined facility charges billed for “mother’s pregnancy and delivery” and “newborn infants” ($86 billion) far exceeded charges for any other hospital condition in the United States.
This opinion piece put out by notable Yale professors today slams the media for misrepresenting midwifery.
It is rebuttal directed at the recent ‘story’ aired on the Today show called “The Perils of Home Birth” (which was originally going to be titled “The Perils of Midwifery”.)
August 31, 2009 was a great day for midwifery and home birth. Another study was released by the Canadian Medical Association comparing midwife assisted home birth with hospital birth.
Interpretation: Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.