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Midwives Hailed as Good Alternative

August 27, 1993

Thank you for Robin Abcarian's "Midwives Deliver a Choice at Gentle Birth Center" (Aug. 8).

I had my first child in a hospital. The doctors were cold and uncaring, and my views about my own delivery were not taken into consideration. My second child was delivered by Tonya Brooks, at the Gentle Birth Center in Glendale. The midwives were warm and caring, and I received undivided attention with every visit.

Just because midwives have not schooled with the Great American Medical Establishment doesn't mean that they are incapable of a profession that has been around for many thousands of years.

MA'ATA TUKUAFU LOPEZ

Los Angeles

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Robin Abcarian's piece regarding the prosecution of lay midwives points up the real fear of the medical establishment of any infringement on what they regard as their sacred turf.

Never mind that midwives have had a far better track record in successfully delivering a far larger percentage of healthy babies than the doctor/hospital system and they do it more cheaply.

Mothers are happier when they are able to have their babies free of the rigid and most often unnecessary hospital intrusion on what is basically a natural function.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, birth is not a medical emergency, although the medical establishment would very much like to to regard it as such. Do not misunderstand, there are times when medical intervention is necessary, but most of the time, it is not.

After four hospital deliveries, including one caesarean section, we successfully delivered two beautiful children at home, the first with a lay midwife assisting.

The second home birth (because the local Medical Mafia had frightened off the lay midwives) we did ourselves, with beautiful results. Let's return childbirth back to the people, where it belongs.

DAVID D. JONES

Inyokern

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If a hospital dares turn away a woman about to deliver a baby because she can't afford the medical expenses or the medical profession can't bear the loss of money due to a midwife stepping in, the woman will simply deliver the baby on her own with no professional qualifications.

The value of experience is not always accompanied by high office fees and documents. In the case of the Gentle Birth Center in Glendale, why not leave well enough alone? Especially since the death rate per thousand babies is lower with midwives than with obstetricians.

The birth center is offering women a choice. Isn't this what America is supposed to be about?

ANN NELSEN BEERS

Los Angeles

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