Doctors and midwives need to cooperate more

There has always been an underlying tension between obstetricians and midwives.

From the doctor’s side, the only times they interact with midwives is when trouble arises. Or, as this article in Time puts it, “When hospital-based obstetricians see midwives and their clients it’s usually because something has gone wrong . . . OBs don’t see the uneventful births that proceed successfully at home [and] doctors in this position find themselves not just being forced to take on someone else’s case, but someone else’s problem.”

It’s no wonder then, that OBs often see the worst of midwifery.

Although hospitals have been traditionally the safest venue for births, and there are cases where home-based midwife deliveries are preferable. In rural areas without poor hospital access, for instance. And studies have shown that home births for uncomplicated cases are no worse – but no better either.

This article was written from a perspective of a midwife, and to her credit, she has taken some lengths to understand the physician point of view.

Doctors should also see things from the midwife’s perspective, and collaborative programs where they can experience successful midwife cases can help resolve the conflict between the two camps.