The assistance in childbirth and the follow-up of the entire gestation by a midwife reduces the risk of complications in pregnancy and decreases the percentage of premature births and the need to administer epidural anesthesia, perform an episiotomy, or use instruments such as forceps during delivery.
These are the main conclusions drawn from a review of 13 studies -with data from more than 16,000 women- conducted in the United Kingdom by researchers from King's College London, and that has been published in The Cochrane Library.
Five of the studies reviewed included pregnancies with a high risk of complications, while the other eight involved low-risk pregnancies. According to the results of the research, it is more beneficial for both the mother and her baby to be the midwife who follows the pregnancy, than the gynecologist or the family doctor.
Women attended by midwives during their pregnancy had a 23% lower chance of premature birth
In addition, women attended by midwives had a 19% lower chance of losing the baby before 24 weeks of pregnancy, and 23% less of having a preterm delivery.
The authors of the study have explained that the studies included only births in hospitals and professional midwives, and although they have recommended that all pregnant women be allowed access to the services of a midwife, they believe that special care should be taken in the case of women presenting gynecological complications.