Childbirth in the US compared to Japan

Here’s a cute quote I found:

“The midwife considers the miracle of childbirth as normal, and leaves it alone unless there’s trouble. The obstetrician normally sees childbirth as trouble: if he leaves it alone, it’s a miracle.”
— Sheila Stubbs
In my class last night we discussed how the U.S. is about 24th in infant mortality. That makes me very sad. We spend the most money on health care but our infant mortality rate continues to get worse.
Who has the lowest mortality rate? Japan. They only spend about half as much money on healthcare.
What are some of the things that they do differently? Well, Pregnant women are free to choose their hospital and physician without any restrictions placed on them. They also have early prenatal care. Their high rate of breastfeeding mothers also plays a role. It’s pretty much known that on a worldwide scale that death among breastfed babies is much less common than formula fed infants. Over 90% of Japan’s mothers breastfeed, and more than half of them breastfeed exclusively.
Back to our quote at the top of this entry. Midwifery plays an important role in Japan’s success. The main birth attendants there are midwives. In many European countries, this is the “norm”. Where midwifery care is practiced there is a dramatically lower rate of medical intervention. Sadly in the U.S., it is estimated that only 3-4% of births are attended by midwives.
I think we have a lot to learn from these facts. If you’d like to learn more please visit this article
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