All Articles Tagged "midwives"
You’re expecting. And if one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever experience wasn’t enough to stress you out, you’ll probably soon get an earful of hospital horror stories courtesy of the world-wide web and even some close friends. You’ll hear about the perilous pressure to have unnecessary C-sections and epidurals that caused more pain than they relieved. Throughout all this you may start to question your options and what kind of delivery will work best for you. Many women are choosing to forego the traditional hospital delivery altogether in exchange for a home birth with the assistance of a midwife and/or doula. But should you doula or is this experience a delivery-don’t for you?
In her article, “Why You Should Have Your Baby at Home, and Not at a Hospital” writer Charing Ball broke down how the expensive cost of hospital births, women’s increasing lack of medical coverage and expectant mothers’ high dependency on Medicaid funds have all led to more women seeking out alternative birthing options. Many women, like me, though can’t picture having a baby anywhere but a hospital. While I’d like to imagine the often portrayed natural bliss of giving birth to a baby in a tub of water surrounded by loving friends and family in the comfort of my home, I’m still terrified at the thought of, “What if?” And while medical technology definitely has its faults and biases, why not take advantage of something that many women in third world countries wish they had access to? It’s true, women’s bodies are simply doing what they were made to do since the beginning of time before episiotomies and epidurals. In the U.S., however, midwives and doulas lost their status at the end of the 1800′s, and doctors took over the reins. With knowledge about hygiene and the latest medical procedures, doctors had a higher success rate of keeping both mom and baby alive than midwives did. Yet in this day and age, you truly have to question whether your doctor is doing what’s best for the health of you and your baby or what’s more convenient for his/her schedule. Don’t be quick to assume that because you’re in a hospital with medical staff who have years of schooling behind them that you will have a safer more “professional” experience. Your choice of a midwife or doula doesn’t mean you’ll have a barefoot yogi chanting with candles either. Although, homebirths are viewed as more “natural” you can choose to have the procedure be as laid back or structured as you want it to be.
If you’re considering having a home birth with the assistance of a midwife or a doula (Midwives oversee the medical parts of the birth, including the actual delivery, while doulas provide constant emotional and physical support and comfort to the mom-to-be.) For example, you could choose to have the assistance of a doula even if you opt for a hospital birth since they are mostly present for emotional support, but a midwife is necessary if you choose to have a home birth with no doctor present.
All births are different, even for individual women, so even if a home birth was a positive experience for your first-born you may not feel the same way about your next pregnancy. The following pros and cons might help you decide works best for you:
A couple of months ago, we were asking women to share their thoughts on natural vs. hospital births and one of our readers shared a fascinating story, that caught our attention. At our request she expounded and submitted her story to share with our audience.
By Kelli Iyanu
On the morning of August 1, 2010, I went into labor with my fifth child. I was overdue by a week and not it expecting to happen. All my children – except for my oldest – were overdue. The previous night, my hubby never went to bed. He said he was on edge and he didn’t know why. I woke up that morning after feeling like I wet my underwear. Even though this was my fifth child, my water had never broken before and the feeling was strange. I thought I had to use the bathroom.
My labor pains felt like really bad gas so I continued to sit on the toilet waiting for “something else” to happen. When the “gas pains” got stronger, I told my husband. We packed all our children up and were on our way to The Birth Cottage in Tallahassee, Florida. We live ten miles outside the city limits, but thought we could make it. I wasn’t screaming, but my husband decided to blast Earth, Wind, and Fire and make our children sing along so they wouldn’t be scared or confused by the situation. We were still at least five miles outside the city limits when the baby’s head popped out without me pushing. She literally was dropping out of me.
My husband pulled over on the shoulder of I-10, pulled her the rest of the way out, hopped back in, and took off. Luckily, he decided not to cut the umbilical cord. Our baby cried a little and laid her head down. I assumed she was tired from being born and had gone to sleep. I was out of it and in shock.
When we got to The Birth Cottage, our midwife, Layla Swisher, cried “Oh, no, she’s blue!” She grabbed the baby and immediately began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation! Layla saved my baby’s life. My husband did such a great job that day. And our other four children were real troopers that day. I’m so proud of them. I’m also proud of my midwife, Layla Swisher and her mom Alice Sanpere at The Birth Cottage in Tallahassee, Florida. They’ve birthed all of my children and if I was going to have another one, I’d want them right there again! In case you were wondering, we named our daughter Nandi (after Shaka Zulu’s mother) Abiona (Yoruba meaning born while traveling). She has been a wonderful little girl and a beautiful completion of our family. Oh, and she was born to “Kalimba Story” by Earth Wind and Fire. Lol.
If you have an interesting story you’d like to share with the Madame Noire audience, you can send it to us at editors_at_madamenoire.com
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(NYT) — Amy Paulin, now a New York State assemblywoman pushing for more independence for midwives, was 27 when she became pregnant with her first child and started doctor-shopping in New York City. One hospital mistakenly told her she had the Tay-Sachs gene, and one doctor counseled her against eating pizza, she recalled on Thursday. Irked, she ended up having her daughter, now 26, with a midwife in a Bronx hospital. Her next two children were born at her home in Scarsdale, also with the help of midwives.