February 6, 2019

Rising infant mortality rates sounding alarm for midwifery

wendy-kline Wendy Kline, a professor at Purdue University specializing in the history of medicine, says midwifery has been associated with better birth outcomes. Download image

WHAT: The United States spends more on health care than any other developed nation, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation, yet the U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate than 27 wealthy countries studied in a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

EXPERT: Wendy Kline, a professor at Purdue University specializing in the history of medicine, specifically women's health, reproduction, eugenics and childbirth, can talk about the history and resurgence of midwifery, and how the practice has been associated with better birth outcomes. 

QUOTE: “Research has shown states in which midwives were recognized and allowed to practice in hospitals had better birth outcomes. But midwifery has been vitually eliminated by organized medicine since the early 20th century. Since then, the U.S. has become the most expensive place to give birth in the world, while infant and maternal mortality rates have increased dramatically over the past 20 years. We recognize there’s a problem and we need to come up with new solutions.”

MORE INFORMATION: Author of the books, “Coming Home: How Midwives Changed Birth,” published January 2019 by Oxford University Press, “Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Women's Health in the Second Wave” and “Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom.” Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine at Purdue University.

Writer: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541, paul102@purdue.edu

Source: Wendy Kline, 765-496-2518, wkline@purdue.edu

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