A midwife and "Birthing From Within" mentor, I am passionate about informed decision making and helping moms and partners birth in awareness. My blog chronicles my journey from cesarean to vaginal birth after cesarean and my quest for information to help families have EMPOWERING births.
Just a quick post to stay I am still here and baby is still inside. With the upcoming move I barely have a moment to check my email let alone blog. I am very big and tired but still feeling good. We shot the virtual tour of my house yesterday, a big load off my plate. It isn't easy putting a house in immaculate order with two little ones running around! Other news...my friend who is a photographer will be photographing the birth so stay tuned for some neat birth pictures. I have also invited the three wonderful women I apprentice with to the birth. A bit of a crowd you might say but they don't have to be in the same room with me, and I am not sure if they will all be here since they are all doulas and might be at a birth. I feel so lucky to be apprenticing with such strong, compassionate, supportive women. I am looking forward to becoming a midwife with them. On the apprentice note, I am still attending prenatals with my midwife. Next week will probably be my last week as I will be 37 weeks and ready to take the last few weeks to relax and nest.
A new study1 looks at the process of midwifery-led delivery in the Dutch system. Midwives make either no referral, referral (to an obstetrician) with urgency, or referrals without urgency once a woman is in labor. The study, which examined 280,000 cases found that the midwifery-led referral system resulted in a small number of urgent referrals (3.6%) and satisfactory neonatal outcomes. There were fewer referrals among women planning a home (rather then hospital) birth.
1MP Amelink-Verburg, SP Verloove-Vanhorick, RMA Hakkenberg, IME Veldhuijzen, J Bennebroek Gravenhorst, SE Buitendijk (2008) Evaluation of 280 000 cases in Dutch midwifery practices: a descriptive study, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 115 (5)
Wouldn't it be great if we could get the inside scoop on birth attendants and their intervention rates etc.? As a doula, I belong to a listserv and we discuss experiences with doctors but we have no hard data. For example, we might ask, has anyone had a successful VBAC with doctor x? We all know that certain hospitals must have high cesarean rates because the moms we attend there tend to have cesareans for questionable reasons, but again, no hard facts. There is a project out there that aims to collect better information from practitioners so that women will truly have more choice when deciding where and with whom to birth. Here are the goals of the project as found on their site, The Birth Survey.
Annually obtain maternity care intervention rates on an institutional level for all fifty states.
Collect feedback about women’s birth experiences using an online, ongoing survey, The Birth Survey.
Present official hospital intervention rates, results of The Birth Survey, and information about the MFCI in an on-line format.
Increase public awareness of differences among maternity care providers and facilities
and increase recognition of the MFCI as the gold standard for maternity care.
It is hard to have an empowered birth if you can't get good information!
I had my 33 week appointment last week and received my list of supplies. Many of the supplies are things that you can easily find at Target or borrow from a friend. At the top of the list is the 1-800 number to call to order your birth kit. The birth kit includes the supplies for the midwife plus a few things (like one of those cold pads for after the birth) for mom. The kit is here so as soon as I pass the 35 week mark, I am cleared for a home birth, yippee!