Consumer has an excellent article (May, 2012) about ten procedures that may be more harmful than helpful during pregnancy and birth, as well as ten things to do during your pregnancy and five things to do before you become pregnant which can optimize your chances for a positive outcome. Tops on their list of things to avoid are an elective early delivery  or an induction without a medical reason, a cesarean for a low-risk first birth, an automatic second cesarean…. These are all procedures that are less likely to occur if a pregnant mom is seeing a midwife.  Fortunately, some hospitals, in an effort to reduce the high rates of prolonged labors, cesarean sections, and babies who are not quite ready for prime time,, have prohibited elective inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy.  Other procedures that are useless or harmful are ultrasounds after 24 weeks without a specific indication,  continuous electronic fetal monitoring in the absence of concerns about the labor progress or the fetal heart rate (as shown by intermittent monitoring, either with an electronic monitor or with a Doppler), early epidurals, routine artificial rupture of the membranes, or nursery care for newborns (rather than rooming-in).

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