June 17, 2010

Midwives

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:07 am by Gina

Hi all,

The title of this post comes from the title of the book I’m currently reading, recommended and lent to me from an avid reader and elementary school teacher, by Chris Bohjalian. The book has been slightly difficult for me to get in to, but I can respect the descriptions and appreciate how different of a topic it’s about–midwifery.

It made me start thinking about midwives. How many are there? What do they do exactly? Benefits? Cons? It’s natural, but how safe is it really?

The Columbia Encyclopedia describes midwifery as “the art of assisting childbirth.” It continues to say that originally in ancient Greece and Rome these women had some formal training. During Medieval times however, the medical arts declined and midwifery became a trade learned solely through experience and oral tradition (two things that shouldn’t be deemed unimportant.)

Now, most midwives are certified nurses and can practice in all 50 states. Lay-midwives, usually trained through apprenticeship, are regulated by state about what duties they can perform.

Why choose a midwife over a safe, regulated, “normal” hospital birth? While reading the novel one of the things that most struck me (all while keeping in mind that of course it is fiction etc etc) is the level of emotion. The woman can choose who is in the room, who will deliver her baby. A midwife who chose to deliver babies because she believes in the absolute beauty of birth and life and believes in doing that in the most natural way possible. Still, other benefits include payment plans, sliding fees and a high number of accepted insurance plans. Also natural methods, choices, and low-intervention rates (cesarean sections.)

MANA, the Midwives Alliance of North America, has a list of definitions of the various types of midwives and their differences among one another.

Would you use a midwife? Is it something that ever even crossed your mind in today’s science, institution based world? Would it surprise you to hear that the United States provides the world’s most expensive maternity care but has worse pregnancy outcomes than almost every other industrialized country? Let me know!

~Gina

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3 Comments »

  1. Jessica R said,

    OMG, I hate to admit that midwifery and having babies at home scares the you know what out of me. When I was pregnant I was TERRIFIED by the thought that I would have an emergency situation and have to deliver him by myself. What if the cord was around his neck? How could I handle the pain and save him? How could I deal with the mess (quite frankly)? How could I not pass out?

    The hospital is the enemy of some people, and I understand that. I didn’t really WANT an I.V. but it’s required in the hospital. I got over it, I tried to realize that it would make me feel so much better by making sure I stayed hydrated and stable. I WANTED an epidural and I’m forever thankful I had one. But I do understand some women not wanting to be forced into their assembly-line style of delivering babies. YOU were there when they tried to tell me I had too many people in my room!!! Anyway…

    I know someone who has had 2 kids at home in the last 4 years, her first was in the hospital and she swore she’d never go back. She’s pregnant again right now.

    While I truly admire women who can do that, and I see the emotional perks of it, I know it’s not for me. At all.

    I totally love knowing that my great grandma had her kids at home, and that’s just how it was done. I appreciate that in many countries around the world that’s how things are still done today. Midwifery is something to be honored in their societies. It’s a great, empowering profession for women.

  2. Olivia said,

    I am also terrified by the idea of having my babies by myself or anywhere but a hospital. I’m a big worrier and the whole idea freaks me out..also, I’m not too big on the whole pain thing so I’ll probably want an epidural. But who knows, I’m not planning on popping any babies out any time soon so maybe my opinion will change.

  3. gina said,

    The picture of that sleeping baby is beautiful!!!!!!! xo Aunt Gina


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