Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I appreciated your article on “modern day midwives.” I am glad to see more publicity given to natural birth and midwifery. In today’s technological environment, it is often hard to have a birth free of IVs, continuous monitoring, etc. unless one delivers outside the hospital. The statistics provided by Ms. Bellebuono accurately reflect the safety of birth outside the hospital. However, I do take issue with the remarks regarding nurse-midwives. There are nurse-midwives who catch babies outside the hospital, either at home or in a birthing center. Sure there are midwives who work in hospitals. They have a choice to catch babies where each individual midwife is comfortable, too. Nurse-midwives have both the medical background and the natural birth training needed to meet the needs of mothers, whatever their preference. Some nurse-midwives are very comfortable with using herbs, chiropractic, and other forms of alternative medicines just as many lay midwives.

Karen Winstead, Rocky Mount, VA

Dear Editor,

I wanted to take the time to thank you for the article by Holly Bellebuono on modern day midwives. I agree with Holly on the fact that women should choose who is in attendance and where birth takes place. I believe women who want to have options also have the responsibility to demand these options from their insurance companies, family practice physicians, and legislators. If more women would patronize physicians who support midwifery, other physicians would soon get the idea. However, I disagree with Holly’s representation of nurse midwives. Nurse midwives are experts at natural birth. I am a student nurse midwife and my program allows me to custom-tailor my training. When I graduate, I will have training in home births, birth center births and hospital births.While I agree that out-of-hospital birth is the best choice for most women, I do feel that having a nurse midwife in attendance at a hospital birth can help optimize the experience for the family, decrease the number of interventions, while providing medical back-up for women who have special needs.

Rhonda Arthur, RN
Floyd, VA


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