Friday, March 5, 2010

A Doula's Perspective on Midwives

by Samantha

"I have not personally given birth, but am a DONA birth doula and working on becoming a CBE (Child Birth Educator). Where I grew up (southwest NH) midwifery and natural birth is the norm and it is what made what to get on this path. I grew up thinking childbirth was a normal event. Not one that needed to be induced or numbed. There was a free standing birth center at the end of my street and my favorite thing was to go on walks and see if the "new baby" sign was up and the info on it. All gynecological care I ever received as a teen and young adult was by a CNM, and she made me want to be proactive in my own health, instead of fearful. When I was 17, I went to a DONA training to become a doula and fell in love with birth.

"I moved to Chicago to get my Bachelors in Nursing and to attend midwifery school. Since being in IL I have worked with mostly OB's and it has been very disappointing with one exception. There is one OB I have worked with multiple times who is part of a group with four midwives. The way he practices compared to other OB's is night and day. He allows pushing in any position, he does not rush mom and lets her do things at her own pace. He allows dad to catch the baby all by himself if he wants, he is anti-circumcision and applauds parents for opting not to cut. C-sections are only for women and babies who are in true distress and he doesn't believe in pushing pain meds or time tables. When I asked him if this was his normal practice or only the practice when he is a CNM backup, he said that the CNMs showed him what birth should look like and he never looked back."

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