What maternal outcomes have been reported for midwife led labor and delivery?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Sarah Hagood Milton, MD; Chief Editor: Christine Isaacs, MD  more...
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Answer

According to a systematic review of 13 trials involving 16,242 women, most women whose prenatal and childbirth care were led by a midwife had better outcomes compared with those whose care was led by a physician or shared among disciplines. Patients who received midwife-led pregnancy care were less likely to have regional analgesia, episiotomy, and instrumental birth and more likely to have no intrapartum analgesia or anesthesia, spontaneous vaginal birth, attendance at birth by a known midwife, and a longer mean length of labor. They were also less likely to have preterm birth and fetal loss before 24 weeks' gestation. However, the average risk ratio for caesarean births did not differ between groups, and there were no differences in fetal loss/neonatal death at 24 or more weeks' gestation or in overall fetal/neonatal death. [1, 27]


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