Today is International Day of the Midwife. Let's take the time to recognize and celebrate the dedication and life changing work of midwives. Midwives work tireless hours, they are a part of our community, they reassure women and families and encourage you to trust your body, they massage you and hold your hand when the going gets tough, they cry with you and laugh with you and they are there for you when questions arise. Thank you to all of the midwives around the world! Your work is invaluable and so appreciated!
I encourage you to share your birth story and tell us what you loved about your midwife.
Outcomes of Planned Home Birth with Registered Midwife vs Planned Hospital Birth with Midwife or Physician
Choosing the right care provider is the most important decision you'll make in getting the outcomes you'd like at your birth. It can mean the difference between starting birth naturally vs. the pressure of induction, coping using natural techniques vs. an epidural, a tear vs. an episiotomy and a vaginal birth vs. a cesarean birth.
Up until 2004, studies of planned home births attended by registered midwives in British Columbia had been limited by incomplete data, the inability to exclude unplanned home births and inadequate statistical power. However, a study done from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2004 has now given us a great sampling of the difference between midwifery and obstetrical care.
Since the turn of the century, it's become the norm that we put our care in the hands of obstetricians and it's expected of us that we go to the hospital to give birth. In todays day and age, when you tell people that you're having a home birth they will look at you with a great deal of concern and ask, "is that safe?". In fact, I have clients that don't tell their parents or friends that they are planning for a home birth out of concern that they will face judgement and that they will receive negative feedback. The truth is that home birth is as safe and in some cases safer than hopsital birth for both mom and baby.
Let's take a look at the numbers based on obstetric interventions and maternal outcomes among the 12 982 women in the study.
Electronic Fetal Monitoring:
Augmentation of Labour (Oxytocin induction):
Analgesia During Labour - Epidural:
Mode of Delivery - Cesarean:
Episiotomy among Vaginal Deliveries:
Maternal Outcome - Postpartum Hemorrhage:
The goal behind this study was to "better inform childbearing women and their caregivers of the potential consequences of home birth". I love how that is worded because it makes it sound as though there will be dire consequences when having your baby at home. On the contrary! Midwifery care is showing as the safest bet for low-risk pregnancies in British Columbia - that goes for home birth and hospital birth. In fact, even the Health Minister encourages home births in low-risk pregnancies.
To read the full study for yourself, please click here. Get informed and make the best and safest decision for your family! I've said a million times before and I'll say it again - Knowledge Is Power!
Learn more about our Home Birth Doula Services here. We would love to support you!
Last night I had the privilege of attending an evening with Ina May Gaskin - a woman I have admired for years now and who's sage advice and knowledge I take with me to every birth I attend. In fact, when attending births I often ask myself, "Why would Ina May do?"
Ina May is known as The Mother of Authentic Midwifery. She is the founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Centre in Summertown Tennessee. Founded in 1971, by 2011, the Farm Midwifery Centre had handled approximately 3000 births, with remarkably good outcomes. Ina May has herself has attended more than 1200 births. She is the author of Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - these books come second to the bible for me!
Ina May's centre is noted for its low rates of intervention (her cesarean rate is less than 2% compared to the North American average 30+%), morbidity and mortality despite the inclusion of may vaginally delivered breeches, twin and grand multiparas.
So what did I take home my evening with Ina May?
Books to Read:
Humans are the only mammals that are afraid of their own bottoms. Let's change this! A few videos to help change this mindset:
Favourite Quote of the Night: "Go outlaw if your laws don't make sense"
Ina May may be known as a bit of a radical but her research and practice is based on years of real life experience, observation and learning from other experts around the world. There is no doubt that this woman knows what she is doing!
If you're expecting a little one soon, whether you'll be having a home birth, water birth or hospital birth, I would highly recommend that you add any one of Ina May's books to your reading list. Her insight, wisdom and incredible stories will inspire you and that's a guarantee!