As maternity wards continue to close across the U.S., demand for midwives has grown, especially in rural areas. But hospitals and health care providers have raised concerns about licensing and safety.
Three of the 12 women enrolled in a study of progesterone to reverse a medication-based abortion required ambulance transport to a hospital for treatment of severe vaginal bleeding.
Several states require doctors who perform medical abortions to tell their patients the procedure can be "reversed" with progesterone. There's an absence of evidence to support that contention.
California's legislature will soon take up a bill requiring doctors to screen new mothers. Many doctors oppose the idea, and similar laws elsewhere haven't increased the number of moms treated.
Overall rates of the surgical snip have declined nationally in the past decade. But, despite advice, some hospitals and certain doctors still routinely cut the vagina to ease a baby's birth.
Facilities for delivering babies are expensive to run and hard to staff. But when small rural hospitals close their birthing units, pregnant women must travel much farther for care.
The British medical system says healthy women with normal pregnancies should give birth at home or in a midwife-led facility. But 99 percent of babies in the U.S. are born in hospitals.
Many obstetricians make more money for C-sections than for vaginal deliveries. In a recent study, these doctors were more likely to perform the costly procedure than doctors paid a flat salary. But when the pregnant women were also physicians, doctors seemed less swayed by financial incentives.