In a Nutshell..... Why do I do this?

Last Friday, I rode with the midwife I assist to do our home visit with one of our clients. We typically make a home visit before the birth so we can familiarize ourselves with the route - makes it so much easier than driving cold turkey in the dark- and we get the sense of the layout of the home in terms of the birth. This was a repeat client but she had moved since her last birth. It took a bit of doing to get there and it was a lovely rural type setting. The weather was warm and the sky was clear and blue. She greeted us with her toddler. We chatted and toured her cozy home. Then we did the prenatal appointment- belly check, fetal heart tone check, urine check, blood pressure check- etc. Her little one showed us some of his toys. I admired some of her homemade toys and she showed me how to do the blanket stitch in order to finish the edge of her handmade doll. We lingered a bit and I remembered her last birth. I'm very much looking forward to attending this birth. We hugged goodbye and waved as we slowly drove out of the driveway. I looked out the window as they stood there watching us leave. For me- the next time I see her she will be in the midst of labor, as I'm typically not called until labor is advanced. The midwife precedes me and calls me to assist when she needs me which is usually later in labor. The mama looked so beautiful with her round belly and her precious little one was standing there by her side. It was as it should be. I felt almost moved to tears and I thought " We have the best job in the world!"Every woman deserves this type of prenatal care. We get to know the family. We listen with respect and true interest. The midwife builds a relationship with the mama and the family. When labor begins we attend as invited caregivers. We will be the supporters of the process. The birth will be attended with care and attention. The family unit is respected and supported. The baby will be gently and lovingly welcomed into the arms of his/her mama and in his/her own home. I love home birth. Love it love it love it.Post partum care is equally wonderful. They don't have to go anywhere. We leave them settled in in their own bed. Personal attention. Family support. Breastfeeding support. In addition to the personal visits there is the continual availability for phone consultations. Midwifery does not leave mothers and babies in the lurch. I'm so proud to have a share in this model of care. I wish this type of care for all families.So, there it is..... I love this work. It never grows old. As is the case with this family we build a history with our clients. What a privilege. If only more women availed themselves of this dignifying and respectful model of care. As a nurse part of my role is education. I feel the need to make this model known as an option. I'm using this blog as one way to accomplish that goal.
Posted by Helen at 9:43 PM 0 comments

Thursday, March 4, 2010

News from Citizens for Midwifery

Numbers of Out-of-Hospital Births Have Increased

Dear friends,

Exciting news about out-of-hospital birth! A just-released report from the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC) showed that the number of out-of-hospital births increased by 5% from 2004 to 2005 and stayed up in 2006 (the numbers had been gradually decreasing over the previous 14 years). In fact, in nine states, out-of-hospital births rose by 15% or more!

This report confirms what has been sensed in the out-of-hospital birthing community for awhile: the amount of demand, interest and births in out-of-hospital settings and the midwives who assist in them are on the rise, and the increase has to do with families wanting births that feel safe, private, affordable and in keeping with their cultural and religious practices. The report goes on to show that out-of-hospital births have better outcomes: fewer pre-term and low-birth weight babies. One theory about these outcomes is that they can be attributed in part to the high-quality, personalized, preventative prenatal care offered by out-of-hospital midwives (including CPMs, Certified Professional Midwives).

On a side note, this report also shows that women have been increasingly seeking out-of-hospital births several years before the release of Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake's popular film The Business of Being Born (2008), proving that this film and other media interest in out-of-hospital birth reflect, not lead, the desires and actions of American families.

To download the full CDC report, go to http://www.cdc. gov/nchs/ data/nvsr/ nvsr58/nvsr58_ 11.pdf.Sincerely,
Arielle Greenberg Bywater

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