Cascade of intervention

The “cascade of intervention” is widespread in American birthing practice.  Birth has become a medical problem to be treated.  It starts with unrealistic expectations about childbirth, fear of pain, leads to an induction (suggested by the mother and/or doctor and often not medically necessary), makes an easy transition to an epidural, increases the risk for an instrumented or surgical delivery.  I think Prof. Tracy is right on by saying we’re moved away from  the “natural rhythm of women giving birth”.

Well-trained midwives play a huge part in helping mothers avoid the cascade of intervention through education and empowerment.  In fact, as stated in the video below, countries that employ nurse-midwives as first-line care providers for pregnant women have the best outcomes!

The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health recently published an excellent handout on how (and why!) to prevent a cesarean delivery.  This is an invaluable resource for women who feel pulled in to the cascade (downward spiral!) of intervention!


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