Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Apology.....birth shouldn't be scary.

It was brought to my attention yesterday after I posted this article link on our Facebook page that the beginning paragraph was really scary to one soon to birth mother....(not a Reunion mom...). I want to apologize if I allowed something to frighten anyone. I am sorry.

My intention was honorable.  I want women to understand what really is going on in our maternity wards today. Become informed. Become aware. Know your options.

Many women who know nothing about nurse-midwives think we are unsafe, a lesser choice than an obstetrician.
I guess as  a midwife I feel that we so often have to defend our profession. We just want people to understand who we are and why we do what we do. Understand our committment. Our honor of the laboring mother.

Obstetricians are highly trained surgeons. Trained to fix problems. They are not necessarily experts in normal, natural birth. How can they be?  When was the last time your OB sat at your side while you experienced your early contractions.....encouraged you as you journeyed your way to transition........rubbed your back .........prayed with you. They unfortunately don't have the time. .....they are fixing everyone elses problems.....that's where they are truly needed. And thank God for them.  Polly and I have the most amazing collaborative Obstetricians midwives could ever hope for. We love them. Honor them. Respect them. And they do the same for us. It would be a dream for all maternity practices to have such a great collaborative team.  Midwives for normal, docs for abnormal. Less unnecessary c-sections. Less morbidity/mortality ( proven fact when you add midwives to the mix....)
Happy moms. Every one getting what their body/baby needs.

When you are at most hospital units laboring with your epidural ( or not) and with Pitocin running (or not) you are not being "watched" and comforted by loving hands, usually.  You are being monitored at the nurses station.  RN's watching the monitors for any signs of fetal distress, period.
                                  Pitocin running-Check. Epidural in- Check. Patient quiet-Check.
 I have been there, I know.  I am sure there are some wonderful hospital L and D units where the nurse sits at your bedside and charts. But not in most. And if you are going "natural" not too much help there either.  And with due respect, I know that it is not possible for  the nurse to "labor" you when she has two other patients on a busy unit.....But I ask: How safe is that, really? And some people think what we do at the birth center is "putting your baby in danger"......really.
I certainly don't think that all moms are risking their babies birthing with OBs at the hospital.  I do believe that women should do their research for their birth care just as they would if they were getting anything else done to their bodies or their children's bodies.  We seem to just take what comes with birth. And we shouldn't.
For now....Janet


  1. Agreed.
    I think that women should be fearful of hospitals. Fearful of what the hospitals will be taking from her birth experience. Fearful of what could happen because of all of the medical interventions hospitals and their residing physicians and nurses find necessary to keep their hospital running efficiently. They've got monetary issues on their mind, not patient satisfaction issues. I wanted a birth where I was first priority. I wanted to be in control of my birth and with a midwife, that is totally possible. Midwives are genius. They were God's special gift to a world succumbing to the quick, easy, "painless" lifestyle. They were given to women who wanted to experience their births rather than just have a baby. I wish more women would defend the right to birth their way. I wish more women would stand up and help to educate our fellow girlfriends about midwives and about the gifts they have to offer.

  2. Okay, here is my THIRD try to post a comment about this.

    First of all, thank you so much for posting things like this, Janet. It was the perfect material to remind me of all the research I did with my first pregnancy in 2008.

    Second, I have to say I'm happy to be in the company of women like you Jeni. But I have to say, I think women like you and I ARE doing everything we can to spread the word and encourage women to learn more and take charge of their births!! THe problem is not availability of information, but an audience who is willingly and happily blind and deaf. Not only are they not informed, but they don't want to be. I can safely say I've met at least 100 women through local women's groups, and OB/birth questions are a routine conversation. I am not a pushy person, so all I do is explain in a few sentences what my choices have been. Only THREE of 100 wanted to hear more than "midwife." Of those three, one was already a reunion mom, one is legally excluded from birth centers because of VBAC laws, and the third has an unsupportive husband (she might come around?)

    So, Jeni, we're doing our part!! My wish is for a cultural shift, where men and women alike take charge of their own health management, trust their own judgement in researching personal issues, and consider health care providers consultants NOT gods.

    I'm so lucky to have found Janet and Polly!!!! I love you two.