The Debate Over Childbirth Safety in America

Wow.  I’ve been in a rather heated, on-line debate over the past week.

On the women’s self-advocacy and information-sharing, on-line community called, I recently posted an entry to the Maternity/Parenting forum called, “If You’re An Expectant Mom, or Know One, Please Read This!!!”

It was based on an article recently released by midwife Ina may Gaskin about the maternal mortality rate in the US (15.1 women/100,000 will die in chidlbirth overall…36.5/100,000 for African American women).
No less than four hours after my original post, an obstetrician named Amy Tuteur chimed in, and boy did she have a mouthful (a page full) to add.

From there, the debate commenced:  Discussions on childbirth safety here in the US in the hospital vs. in the home setting with midwives, comparing the US maternal mortality rate to that of other countries around the world, the life saving techniques and technologies perfected by the obstetrical community and whether or not those advances deserve a place in all births, or only the rare 10% or so that really require their use.

The debate got hot.  And then hotter.  A few more folks joined in.  Statistics were flying.  Sweat was collecting on the brow of each and every participant, I’m sure.

But the debate is not over.  It never will be.  As long as women and babies still die in childbirth; as long as there are still drastically different opinions about how women should be cared for before, during and after their childbirth experiences, the debate will go on.

What are your thoughts?  Visit and follow this link to the debate.


Filed under Childbirth Issues, From One Mother to Another, Living

2 responses to “The Debate Over Childbirth Safety in America

  1. Hi – I missed that post and the fall out. I’m posting a link to it at so that others can read it. Very interesting, comments and all.


  2. Thanks for posting it to!

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