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Midwives use rituals to send message that women's bodies know best
Date:12/16/2011

ey's belief that both of these sets of rituals have caused a wide chasm between the 99 percent of the U.S. population that chooses hospital births and the 1 percent who choose home births.

"Just as women and their doctors who deliver in the hospital often feel convinced that their birth was the only safe and 'correct' way, women and midwives who deliver at home feel strongly that they have the solution," Cheyney said. "They believe it with every cell in their body because they have lived it."

The result, said Cheyney, are two deeply entrenched belief systems that have trouble meeting in the middle, prompting many of the tensions between midwives and obstetricians a major concern for Cheyney and other researchers as the number of home births in the U.S. is on the rise.

In contrast, countries such as Canada require midwives to be trained in home, birth center, and hospital deliveries. And Dutch physicians are required to complete midwifery training if they want to attend low-risk deliveries.

"How can you speak across divides unless you experience both sides?" Cheyney said. "To use a travel metaphor, it's easy to criticize a country you've never visited."


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Contact: Melissa Cheyney
melissa.cheyney@oregonstate.edu
541-737-3895
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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