Health goes by rule to recognize and give legal certainty to midwives

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The federal Ministry of Health is working on a project for an Official Mexican Standard for Midwifery to recognize and give legal certainty to those who carry out this activity.

The undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo Lopez-Gatellhighlighted that this new legal framework is not in conflict with another normative element of health care and that it seeks to protect and promote the knowledge of traditional Mexican medicine.

At a press conference, he indicated that the project will be ready this year.

“It’s still a draft, it’s not yet registered as a draft, but we plan to do it later this year and it’s a midwifery-specific standard,” she said.

She indicated that this standard of midwifery, both traditional and technical, seeks to recognize the legacy of indigenous peoples, prioritize care for social groups historically discriminated against, and ensure safe births.

Read: Midwives, great allies of motherhood during the pandemic

López-Gatell criticized that Mexico is one of the four countries with the highest rate of “unnecessary caesarean sections that are generally unfavorable for the health of the mother and, not infrequently, for newborns.”

Meanwhile, the director of the IMSS, Zoé Robledo, indicated that midwifery and traditional medicine have been integrated into the Institute for 43 years, through the IMSS Coplamar model, now IMSS Bienestar.

According to the Institute, they have the support of 754 traditional doctors, 6,664 rural midwives and 15,775 rural health volunteers.

Read: Indigenous midwives fight against maternal death in the Costa Chica and the Mountain of Guerrero

Figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) show that in 1985, the first year of registration, there were 810 thousand home births attended by a nurse or midwifewhich progressively fell to 74,549 in 2018, a reduction of 91%.

While those attended by doctors in a clinic or hospital rose from 1.5 to 1.9 million, 23% more.

That has also increased operations to deliver the baby, instead of natural births, which has led Mexico to be the fourth international place in rate of caesarean sections, which increased 50% this century, according to a 2016 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report.

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