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Catching Babies in Appalachia

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Midwives have a long and storied history in Appalachia. Can they help decrease the region’s high C-section rate?

On this week’s Front Porch podcast, we talk to two women who help “catch babies” in West Virginia: Leila Nichols, director of Midwifery Services at FamilyCare, and Staysha Quentrill, Strong Start Peer Leader at FamilyCare Birth Center.

The World Health Organization says 5 – 10 percent C-section rate is ideal. That rate is 33 percent for the whole U.S., and 36 percent in West Virginia – the 5th highest rate in the nation.

Nichols gives 7 reasons for the high C-section rate.

  1. Women being told they can’t have a vaginal birth
  2. Induction methods
  3. Continuous fetal monitoring
  4. Women not being given enough information about vaginal birth after C-section
  5. Casual attitudes toward surgery
  6. Reimbursements are higher for C-section
  7. More convenient for provider

Bonus information – what NOT to do if you’re the partner for a woman having a baby.
Subscribe to "The Front Porch" podcast on iTunes or however you listen to podcasts. An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available above. Share your opinions with us about these issues, and let us know what you'd like us to discuss in the future. Send a tweet to @radiofinn or @wvpublicnews, or e-mail Scott at sfinn @ wvpublic.org


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