Cape Town - He is a happy midwife and has delivered 24 000 babies in his 38-year career.

Sydney Grove, general manager at the Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital in Panorama, Cape Town, is the proud midwife. There is a renewed interest in the services of midwives, after reports that obstetricians are leaving the profession because of high insurance cost.

Grove was speaking on the eve of International Day of the Midwife and is a vocal promoter of natural birth.

“At our practice, we are focused on natural birth but there are some cases for caesarian section.

“We try not to go over 30 percent - 35 percent with C-sections we are known for natural birth which is mainly midwife lead in collaboration with selected gynaecologists and the paediatricians who we work with.” He said many gynaecologists have stopped practising obstetrics because of the “Americanised” culture of litigation and the “exceptionally high indemnity rates that they have to pay, now over a R1million a year since January ”.

“In the Western Cape most babies (82 percent) that are born to low-risk women are delivered by midwives,” Grove said, who urges the government to invest in training nurses.

Next week, a Sensitive Midwifery Symposium will be held at the River Club in Observatory where a UK midwife Pavan Amara will discuss their solution to assist women with “more sensitive care after being raped or experiencing sexual violence”.

Cape Argus