Thanks Tuba City!
March 7, 2010 1 Comment
In this article in today’s NYT, Denise Grady does a great job of covering the major issues surrounding the maternal healthcare debate in the US by looking at the successes of a small hospital run by the Navajo Nation in Tuba City, Arizona. There is a lower rate of cesareans, most births are attended by midwives, and most women deliver at their own pace with friends and family supporting them. In a quick two pages, the article justly illustrates:
- the issues surrounding VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
- the benefits of the midwifery care model
- how insurance costs often affect care
- the benefit of emotional support during delivery
- the benefit of a community that is familiar with the birth process (in Tuba City, several families members attend a birth, meaning that most people have seen the process several times).
Grady asks “Can the rest of the country learn from Tuba City?” and finds that doctors are “intrigued by the model” but don’t know “how transferable it is.”
The model is not a complicated, as Tuba City proves. There are midwives, doulas and OBs working within this model every day. They trust women, celebrate and normalize birth in our culture, and worry less about profit. But, they, like Tuba City, are the exception, hopefully transforming the rule. Still, it’s great to see articles like this that so clearly show what is out there, and what is at risk.
And for those who think shit isn’t superserious in America’s maternity wards, I offer this video from 2007 of one woman’s account of how she was arrested mid-labor and forced to have a Cesarean because of hospital restrictions on VBACs.