States that allow autonomous practice by certified nurse-midwives have a higher proportion of CNM-attended births as well as lower rates of cesarean sections, and low birthweight infants, according to a study published today in Women’s Health Issues. Women’s Health Issues is the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health, which is based at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.
Past research has found that midwives are less likely than obstetricians to use interventions like labor induction and cesarean delivery that may have higher risks for women and .The authors of this study also found that women giving birth in the group of states allowing autonomous midwifery practice had 13 percent lower odds of cesarean delivery, and 11 percent lower odds of delivering low-birthweight babies when compared to women giving birth in the states with stricter requirements for CNM practice.

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States where midwives practice independently have lower rates of cesarean deliveries

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