The debate as to whether it would be prudent and healthier to use midwives to deliver children as opposed to doctors in hospitals has various elements that are relevant, informative and useful. Many factors should be considered before selecting either option in child bearing and these factors will be mentioned in the first part of the essay. The significance of each factor will be addressed in detail in the next part. Lastly, how the factors might differ for someone else if the social situation was different will also be discussed. Midwives offer a variety of options to the expectant client that can be essential in ensuring the safe and easy delivery of the child.
Factors to consider in choosing whether to use midwives in childbirth
For a long time, midwives have been subjected to stern disapproval from various actors within healthcare and the society. The main reason for the low reputation lies in their qualifications and methods of operation adopted by midwives. Doctors have superior experience and skills as compared to midwives making them more preferred in times of childbirth. Midwives can also be preferable especially for first-time expectant mothers who might require support, encouragement and comfort. Lastly, midwives also give other services that may not be expected or provided by doctors or nurses in most hospitals. These services include observing the bodily, mental, and societal comfort of the mother for the nine months of childbearing. These three factors, among others, are crucial in making a decision in childbearing using a midwife.
Importance of each factor in making a final decision
The stress on the qualifications and methods of operation that midwives have is important in that it significantly influences the physical and mental condition of the newborn child. Midwives may have methods, techniques and approaches that have worked on countless occasions during delivery. However, in the event of a complication, midwives lack the skill to do a quick operation that would save the child’s life. The argument that midwives are currently required to study courses such as certified nurse-midwife (CNM) or midwifery that qualifies them to be registered nurses is valid. However, there are pediatricians who specialize in children and have the basic life saving skills and experiences that surpass those of midwives.
The constant surveillance of experienced midwives from after the time of conception to the time of delivery is particularly beneficial toward ensuring the health of both the mother and the child have been taken into account. Doctors may have the best skills in delivering children, but midwives have the advantage in that they conduct regular diagnosis on the unborn child to ensure that their growth and development is normal. Public or private hospitals handle a lot of human traffic, cannot cater to the needs of a first-time delivery, and may treat the mother with little consideration. In such instances, expectant clients experience complicated times as they try to survive the physical and emotional ordeal alone (Conner, 2005).
The awarding of personal attention to an expectant mother by a midwife is essential in that the child and mother have more attention in the event of a complication. The development of a child over the period of nine months before they are born is particularly crucial in shaping their mental and physical abilities in the future.
How the factors may differ in two different social situations
In the event of two different social situations, the factors may differ slightly. Expectant women who live in third world countries may have limited ability to access quality medical services. In most countries in Africa and parts of Asia, expectant mothers are in a better position to have a safe delivery under the supervision of midwives. The disparity in the doctor to patient ratio in most third world countries means that individuals who have been approved to practice medicine are limited and overworked, and would have little time to comprehensively attend to expectant mothers. Another factor that promotes the dominance of midwives in third world countries is the difficult economic situation. Midwives offer almost similar services to doctors in hospitals, but at affordable fees, that makes them more preferred as they even visit the expectant mother at her home.
There are other traditions that encourage delivery of children at home and away from contemporary medical facilities such as hospitals. In such a social setting, midwives are more prepared and able to deliver children than obstetricians are. Such traditions restrict women to giving birth at home where the rest of the community or family members can be near her. Similarly, other expectant mothers are averse to the inclusion of machines, modern medical techniques and trained doctors in the process of giving birth. In such cases, the midwife offers the best options for ensuring the safe delivery of the child (Cunningham, 2012).
Midwives are not just coached to assist women in delivering babies; they are also skilled in other midwifery skills. Most midwives deal exclusively with a larger number of women with low-risk pregnancies as opposed to high-risk pregnancies. They also have skills in prenatal and counseling care making them the most appropriate companion and medical expert for expectant mothers. Obstetricians and other doctors tend to pay more attention on medical methods than on the emotional state of expectant women. The longer period spent by midwives and expectant mothers gives the midwives the opportunity to give advice on the best exercise and nutrition practices. Finally, midwives also help to sort out personal problems in the lives of their clients (Hackley et al, 2007). My partner suggested that I include topics to separate the answers to the different questions. His suggestions were very helpful as they enabled a quick understanding of how the essay was categorized. On my part, I suggested that he concentrate on correcting the common spelling mistakes in his work.
Conner, C. D. (2005). A people’s history of science: Miners, midwives, and “low mechanicks”. New York: Nation Books
Cunningham A. (2012) Should You Use a Midwife? Parenting. Retrieved from http://www.parenting.com/article/should-you-use-a-midwife?page=0,1
Hackley, B., Kriebs, J. M., & Rousseau, M. E. (2007). Primary care of women: A guide for midwives and women’s health providers. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
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