Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Susan's Thoughts on Midwives

"I love my midwife who provided care during my last pregnancy during home visits. My body was faster than she was so I caught my own baby, but she was there for the placenta.

"That being said, it is very important for women to understand that their midwife may not be able to make it in time for a planned homebirth, which could be deadly for the baby and the mother. My experience taught me that it would be best to choose a midwife who works within a group practice so that the odds are that someone will be able to get there in time for the L&D (Labor & Delivery). This was not an option for me as the only midwife who would attend a HBAC (Home Birth After Cesarean) in my area is the one that I hired. I didn't feel comfy planning a hospital VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), but I had confidence that if there was a reason to transfer that my midwife would be able to provide continuity of care. As it turned out, if I had transfered to hospital I would have been surrounded by strangers with a low VBAC rate so I stuck it out at home. I was blessed that I was in the majority of women who are able to birth without any intervention, but am acutely aware that we are lucky that there were no problems.

"Having a midwife is not a silver bullet, and although every woman deserves her choice of care provider, the fact is that some women will always be safer in the care of an OB. I have learned that autonomy of choice is sacred, and that choosing a cesarean is just as valid as choosing a UC (Unassisted Childbirth). It's just the risks that are skewed. My personal experience with midwifery care drove home the fact that it is more important to support whatever choice that the mother makes than to try and convince her that one way is better than the other based on my personal opinion. Midwives have taught me to support women and their choices."

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