Cross-Cultural Health Perspective

A Midwife is a healthcare worker that provides a number of services to women in the reproductive age such as history, examination, counseling, family planning services, administration of medications, and management of labor and delivery. They help to reduce interventions from other healthcare professionals. Midwives are often utilized traditionally in Asian communities to provide care for the pregnant women. They also provide services to the mother just after the delivery of the baby.

Many women prefer to use a midwife rather than other healthcare professionals, as they tend to ensure that the delivery is as natural as possible. These midwives usually functions from a nursing home, clinic or a smaller hospital. The services of midwives can also be paid through healthcare plans such as Mediclaim and Medicaid. As they advise natural deliveries only, the fatalities and morbidities arising from Caesarean deliveries are reduced.

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The maternity costs are comparable lower and the cost of intervention is also kept down. As fewer interventions are performed during the delivery, the chances of complications are less, and the rate of recovery is speeded up. Most of the pregnancies (60 to 80 %) which do not seem to be a risk can be handled by midwives (American Pregnancy Association, 2001). However, midwives cannot handle high-risk pregnancies (which make up 20 to 40 %). In these circumstances, obstetricians are required to take care of potential complications.

Obstetricians help to preserve the life of both the mother and the child. In developed countries like the US, obstetricians are used routinely to take care of the mother during delivery. Obstetricians help to maintain high standards of care and also ensure that a more ethical practice is followed. In countries where malpractice cases are very high, it is compulsory that professionals provide medical care. Obstetricians can make a decision of providing Caesarean section faster than the midwife, thus saving lives.

Besides, an obstetrician would ensure that the condition of the baby is thoroughly monitored and any problems solved appropriately. References: American Pregnancy Association (2001). Midwives: Birth and Labor. Retrieved 10 February, 2007. from Pregnancy. Org Web site: http://www. pregnancy. org/article. php? sid=1533 Johansan, R. , Newburn, M. , & Macfarlane, A. (2002). “Has the medicalisation of childbirth gone too far? ” BMJ, 324(7342), 892–895. http://www. pubmedcentral. nih. gov/articlerender. fcgi? artid=1122835