Welcome to the New Version of my oldest and dearest website “CollgeOfMidwives.org”

by faithgibson on August 1, 2012

in Contemporary Childbirth Politics, Historical Childbirth Politics 1820-1980

Why another web site about childbirth and old-fashioned ideas life midwifery?

I began my first website — www.collegeofmidwives.org — in 1994, when I still had to write HTML code to get anything posted on the World Wide Web.

Then I moved to a much easier and more reliable web design program (MS’ FrontPage). I often get emails and phone calls from people who find our College of Midwives site to be a reliably helpful source for information on a wide variety of legal, legislative, and political issues.

But over the years, the CoM website became hard to navigate and

So I created ‘faithgibson.org’ to provide a stand-along website for historical and contemporary political material and policy issues relative to childbirth practices in the US. Currently, this information is amply sprinkled throughout my huge, but hard-to-navigate website — the “CollegeofMidwives.org”.

Due to technical issues, I may have to migrate all content from the web program ‘FrontPage’ because Microsoft stopped updating and supporting FrontPage in 2003. But in the meantime, I’ll migrate the very best of that body of information and add new material as it becomes available.

Background of CollegeOfMidwives.org

My former website told how and why the development of obstetrics in America (late 1800s, early 1900s) become dysfunctional. For a great variety of reasons, some good and far too many both bad and wrong, the obstetrical profession in the US sought to eliminate the professional of midwifery and replace the traditional and much safer form of care used in Western Europe with the surgical specialty of obstetrics.  This turned out to be both unfortunate and unsafe for healthy women with normal pregnancies.

The traditional system of community-based care by midwives was quickly replaced by hospital-based obstetrics, as normal childbirth become the professional property of the obstetrical profession. This began in the early 20th century (approx 1910) and continued with correction into the 21st century, leaving us with us a system that for healthy women is both unsafe and unproductively expensive.

By 1910, the supportive, one-on-one and low-intervention care of midwives was replaced hospital protocol that called for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ highly medicalized form of care that reduced all laboring women to a semi-conscious state under the effect of  Twilight Sleep (frequently-repeated shots strong narcotics) and rendered them unconscious for the birth of their baby, by routinely giving every childbearing woman a general anesthetic, followed by episiotomy and forceps delivery. This was extremely risky and unwise, especially in the several decades before the development of antibiotics in the 1940s. During this period of time, the maternal mortality rate in the US was 3 times higher than in Scandinavian countries and twice that of the UK.


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