Midwives reduce risks and the number of interventions

A study on the practice of midwives in birth centres demonstrated that midwifery can reduce many interventions. This study was carried out in 1997 on populations with similar characteristics.

Here are the main results:

  • 4 times fewer forceps (1.4% vs. 4.1%)
  • 8 times fewer suction cups (1.7% vs. 10.2%)
  • 5 times fewer episiotomies (5.8% vs. 32%)
  • 2 times fewer caesareans (10.8% vs. 19.8% for primiparous 1.4% vs. 6.8% for multiparous)

In addition, a reduction of over 70% in 3rd and 4th degree tears was noted.

For the same type of low-risk pregnancy, we note:

  • 3 times fewer hospitalizations during pregnancy (3.3% vs. 10.3%).
  • A length of hospital stay following delivery of less than 24 hours for midwifery clients vs. 2 days for 35.9% and 3 days for 33.7% of physician clients
  • Nearly 2 times less premature babies (2.9% vs. 5.7%)
  • Nearly 2 times less low-weight babies (1.6% vs. 2.9%)
  • Midwifery clients have a breastfeeding rate of over 98%.

Source: Blais Régis & Pierre Joubert, Évaluation des projets pilotes de la pratique des sages-femmes au Québec (Quebec: Université de Montréal, Université Laval, 1997).

Professionnelles de la santé reconnuesLe Regroupement Les Sages-Femmes du Québec (RSFQ) Dédié à ses membresEN SAVOIR PLUSLe Regroupement Les Sages-Femmes du Québec (RSFQ) est l'association professionnelle des sages-femmes du Québec. Il travaille au développement de la profession et défend le libre choix des lieux d’accouchement pour les femmes. Alors que l’Ordre des sages-femmes du Québec encadre la profession, le RSFQ est le porte-parole officiel des sages-femmes exerçant leur profession légalement au Québec auprès du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS).

Midwifery practice reduces risks and the number of interventions

Times fewer forceps
Times fewer suction cups
Times fewer episiotomies
Times fewer caesareans
Times fewer premature babies
Times fewer low-weight babies

Maternity care accounts for a significant portion of the hospital budget.

  • Childbirth is the second reason for hospitalization in health establishments.
  • Obstetrical procedures remain the second most frequent medical procedures in general and specialized care facilities.
  • Childbirth and caesarean sections were among the five most expensive surgical procedures (fee-for-service) in Quebec in 2003.
  • Childbirth is the leading cause of hospitalization for women of childbearing age, although at least 80% of them have a normal pregnancy.

Source : MED ECHO, 2001

Around 36 weeks, I decided to have a home birth. My home seemed to me the best place to give birth, because the equipment would be the same as in a birthing center, my environment would be familiar to me, I would not have to move around after the birth, I would be far from hospital germs… I felt ready to live this adventure with my partner and my midwife because she knew how to put me in confidence without putting pressure… The choice came naturally to me during my pregnancy.