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Expanding Midwifery Care to the Underserved

August 20, 2007

Nurse-midwives from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing have begun offering delivery services at General Hospital, Nashville’s city hospital which provides care primarily to underserved and underinsured populations, regardless of ability to pay. According to this piece, the nurse-midwives are splitting their practice to provide prenatal and women’s health care at the Vine Hill Community Clinic (which also focuses on affordable care for the underserved) in addition to their Vanderbilt offices. The practice expects to deliver about 300 babies at General over the next 12 months. This new arrangement will also help VUSN train more midwives by creating a new location for clinical rotations.

Kudos to the nurse-midwives for taking this step toward bringing low-intervention and progressive birth and prenatal care to the community.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    August 20, 2007 10:35 am

    We see where maternal and neonatal death rates were when midwives were responsible for delivering babies without supervision! Thank God for doctors! Get out of the Dark Ages and save the lives of women and babies!

  2. August 20, 2007 10:40 am

    Jennifer,
    I think you’re making some assumptions here that aren’t valid. The midwives in this case are certified nurse-midwives affiliated with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, doing deliveries in hospitals with doctor and emergency services backup. They’re making efforts to make sure more women from underserved populations have better access to appropriate care. In addition, things were much different in the time before docs took over delivery, without the broad availability of education, antibiotics, prenatal care, and other services. Apples to oranges. Why begrudge trained professionals for providing good care?

  3. Mary permalink
    August 21, 2007 7:09 pm

    Please, Jennifer, read Dr. Marsden Wagner’s new book “Born in the USA”. He evaluates the different maternity care models both here and in other countries, and it is clear that for the majority of normal low-risk pregnancies, the midwifery care model is far superior to the standard American medical paradigm. This is not the fringe viewpoint of a far our hippie, but a medical researcher who has spent many years studying this field. Please acquaint yourself with the facts and scientific research, not an outdated and ill-informed preconceived opinion.

  4. August 22, 2007 7:22 am

    Mary, thank you for that comment.

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