“A recent recommendation from doctors in the United Kingdom raised eyebrows in the United States: The British National Health Service says healthy women with straightforward pregnancies are better off staying out of the hospital to deliver their babies.
…Shah was asked by the New England Journal of Medicine to respond to the British recommendation. He compared birth outcomes here in the U.S. and Britain, especially the cesarean rates, which average 33 percent in the U.S. compared with 26 percent in the U.K. And he started to think the British were on to something.
…Rather than rebut the British, Shah argues in his New England Journal editorial that the practice of giving birth outside a hospital with a midwife can be safer.
“Choose the right patients,” he says. “And you need to be able to link those birth centers to hospitals, like mine, that have blood banks and three operating suites and everything else.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has been supportive of midwife-led births. But it draws the line at home birth.”