Labor – Page 2 – My Radiant Beginnings

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Interview the Midwife, part 2 – On the use of drugs in childbirth

Miss the first part of the interview? You can find it here!

Wow such great answers!! I love your passion and knowledge about home birth. It’s very insightful and helpful! As I’m sure you know, there are a lot of drugs given to mothers and babies during labor in a hospital and even after. What are your views about the amount and/or use of drugs given? I recently spoke to a NICU nurse and she said that she truly believes more than half the babies that were in there wouldn’t be if they had been a home birth baby. She said most were in there due to bad affects of the medication given to them.”

High School Senior studying Child Development

My opinion here would most likely be biased because I’m not speaking from research but rather from personal or second-hand experiences.

I will say there shouldn’t be a “one-stop shop” for everyone.  What I mean by that is I don’t think we should treat human beings like cattle and just herd them in and try to quickly “turn the beds around” by getting laboring moms in, delivered and transferred to a postpartum room.

We need to approach each person and situation individually. If we did that, I don’t think there would be routine use of any medication.

The more you do (“interventions”) the more you invite the opportunity for problems to arise.

Not all interventions are bad all the time. There is a time and a place for them.

I am not anti-hospital.

I am anti-routine and anti-“we are doing it this way because that’s what we’ve always done.”

When the hospital and doctors are needed I am very thankful they exist. I just honestly feel clients would be better served by having all low-risk women see a midwife and then, if the need arises, have a backup OB available to step in if/when needed.

Prenatal Care Without Waiting Rooms?

I love that I have been able to experience childbirth from multiple vantage points. My first 3 pregnancies and births were with OB’s in a hospital setting. What I bring from that background is understanding, not judgment. I also experienced my first midwife/home birth journey alongside my sister, who was in her first pregnancy at the time with an OB. The differences in our care, time spent, information given and attention received were clearly noted for both of us the more we debriefed after each appointment. (So much so, that she elected to use a nurse midwife for baby #2 and had a home birth with baby #3!)

So, what does prenatal care with a midwife look like?

Please realize, like other healthcare providers, midwives aren’t all exactly alike. Appointments with me are generally one hour in length at my home office. There are exceptions of course, like the initial visit, which generally runs 90 minutes, the home visit, which may take just over an hour, and of course any circumstances that may arise which may necessitate extra time.

Why is this a big deal? Well, to be honest, I think that was my favorite part and the most noticeable difference between the medical model and the midwifery model of care. When I would have an OB appointment, though it may have taken an hour, that was including checking in, waiting in the waiting room to be called, using the bathroom/leaving a sample, having my vitals assessed by the nurse, waiting in the exam room, seeing my doctor/chatting for a few minutes, rescheduling my appointment with the front desk and finally walking to my car.

In contrast, when clients arrive for a midwifery appointment, there is little-to-no wait. The entire hour has been booked just for you! We start off with pleasant visiting conversation where I ask how you are (and I really care to know the answer!). I assess your vital signs, weight, nutrition, urine, any discomforts present, fundal height, baby’s position and fetal heart tones at each visit of course; but there is more to the whole person than those things alone.

I draw labs when needed throughout the pregnancy, typically at the initial visit, around 28 weeks and again at 36 weeks.  Prior to doing any of these tests I provide information and give the parents the opportunity for informed consent. (Another HUGE benefit of midwifery care).

Why so much time? I know, the idea may be so foreign as to be weird. I don’t hold anyone who has no need to be at her appointment longer than necessary. For some, they are done and ready to go within 30 minutes and that’s okay! But I want you to know that I allow a full hour and that we use that time to talk about what you’re going through, how you’re feeling, what’s coming up next and how to prepare. I believe the very foundation of midwifery care is wellness and prevention to work towards optimal outcomes.

Labor Support Services

I realize an out of hospital birth may not be an option for everyone; however, I feel you still deserve the best birth experience and support possible. As a result I also offer Doula/Monitrice Services.

What is a Monitrice?

A monitrice is similar to a doula with some added benefits. As a licensed midwife I am able to offer the extra services of monitoring your baby’s heart rate, taking your vital signs and performing cervical exams (if requested) to help ascertain the appropriate time to head to the hospital so that you can enjoy the comfort of your home in that early stage of labor.

Support for Hospital Births

Generally this option includes 1-2 prenatal visits, labor support for the birth itself and a follow up postpartum visit.

I will:

  • Perform vital sign assessments on mom upon arrival and at regular intervals throughout labor until it is time to head to the hospital for delivery.
  • Perform internal (cervical) exams, if requested (using sterile technique).
  • Monitor baby’s heart rate every half hour, or as needed, starting on arrival.
  • Assist mom in various ways throughout her labor including relaxation, positioning, comfort
    techniques, encouragement and support.
  • Answer questions and help inform when inquiries are made once we are at the hospital.
  • Remain for 1-2 hours following delivery and assist with the initial breastfeeding experience, if
    desired.

I will not:

  • Take the place of your partner or other labor support.
  • Act as your healthcare provider.
  • Knowingly attend an unplanned home birth.