More American women are returning to an old-fashioned way of giving birth, according to a new book written by a Drake University professor. Catherine Taylor’s an assistant professor in the English department, and she’s been getting good reviews for her book, “Giving Birth — A Journey Into the World of Mothers and Midwives.”They’re intimately involved with a patient, help make the “birth experience” a positive one, and actually have better “outcomes” than doctors do. Midwives have lower rates of infant deaths and higher health ratings than doctors, even correcting for the fact that a doctor’s more likely to handle the high-risk patients. Lamaze classes notwithstanding, Professor Taylor says a midwife can be more help than a nervous husband during labor and delivery, as she says there’s alot of pressure on dads, and some dads don’t make great birth partners. Taylor says the number of midwife-attended births has doubled in recent years in Iowa, to ten-percent. She did much of the research for the book in New Mexico,w here there’s a big rural population and fewer doctors, so about 20-percent of births involve a midwife, but she says interest is growing in Iowa in midwifery. Taylor says almost all insurance plans now cover midwife-attended births, since their safety record is so good and 97-percent or more take place in a hospital.
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