Grow Midwives Logo Trademark

Water Birth Research That Made a Difference

Water Birth Research That Made a Difference
Water Birth Research That Made a Difference

I (Ginger) am so proud and pleased when I experience work among diverse stakeholders to bring forward meaningful change for evidence-based midwifery care.

Many may remember my polling of US water birth settings, with a focus on hospitals and birth centers. The reason was to help gather a body of evidence of the prevalence of water birth in these settings to help a professional malpractice carrier explain to their underwriter what was happening in clinical settings. 

In three short months — I’m honored to share that our collective wisdom and gathered evidence paid off! 

The Doctors Company began working toward new coverage plans for independent practicing APPs last year. Coverage would be extended beyond physicians to now include midwives, CRNAs, NPs and PAs. 

The Doctors Company is the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer. Their mission is to advance, protect, and reward the practice of good medicine, and they did just that. 

Bridget Howard and I sit on the TDC APC Advisory Board, and I serve as the Chair. When we learned the APP (enforce) policy application would apply an automatic declination for coverage if a midwife declared they attended water births, we were basically aghast and asked the question – Why?

We were tasked with gathering evidence, which we did.

Additionally, I decided to activate a professional network to find as many hospitals in the US that allow water birth as an option. Over 60 US hospitals were identified. We met with TDC staff with our research, they collated our combined work and then presented it to the underwriter leadership. The primary citations that led to the reason to decline policy coverage were the ACOG and AAP policy statements. 

We are excited to share that in our quarterly APC Advisory Board meeting, our work to change the underwriter decision for declination of application was REVERSED. NOW midwives applications will be accepted for malpractice insurance coverage that attend water labor/births in a hospital setting or licensed birthing center setting. 

I feel so fortunate to have worked on this important discussion to share expertise and research that in the end brings value to customer/consumer! 

Thank you to The Doctors Company for your willingness to listen, learn, and advocate for clinical practice that is evidence-based.

Leave a comment