When you discover you are pregnant, choosing a place to birth your baby and your care provider is a top priority. Here at HypnoBirthing International, we love to see Australian parents getting the very best care, and we love the care and outcomes our parents are getting from midwives! There are many other choices and it’s a great idea to explore and research what options are available to you in your area and within your budget.
A great article explaining your choices can be found HERE.
So why do we love midwives so much and in particularly continuity of care?!
What is continuity of care? This means having one midwife who looks after your pregnancy care, then cares for you in labour and also delivers your post-natal support. You can imagine that having appointments with the same person over 9 months or so, could have it’s benefits.
A study done recently showed that whilst we do associate midwives with birth, many women don’t even realise that midwives can deliver all your pregnancy and post partum care too!
Benefits for Women:
- more likely to have a normal birth (2 x more likely than private OB)*;
- less likely to need a caesarean birth;
- less likely to need an induction;
- more likely to have a more positive experience of labour and birth;
- less likely to require pain relief;
- less likely to experience severe blood loss;
- more likely to be satisfied with her maternity care;
- more likely to successfully breastfeed her baby; and
- will cost the health system less.
Benefits for Babies:
- more likely to be born at term;
- more likely to be born healthy;
- less likely to be stillborn; and
- less likely to require special care or NICU admission;
* ‘Spontaneous in onset, low-risk at the start of labour and remaining so throughout labour and delivery. The infant is born spontaneously [without help] in the vertex position [head down] between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy.’ (World Health Organisation Definition of ‘Normal Birth’ – Care in Normal Birth 1997)
Why do these results happen?
Women who are cared for by the same midwife begin to form a strong bond and relationship with them. With the time spent together, comes a deep understanding of what the pregnant women desires for her birth and she begins to build trust in her midwife as well as herself.
When we build that trust, we build our confidence too. When women are confident in birth, they feel more in control of what’s happening to them, have a good understanding of how normal and natural birth is, and are more likely to seek an undisturbed birth because they know the incredible benefits.
What’s going wrong in birth culture?
Reading this information you’d start to think that all women should be under the guidance of a known midwife, clearly it’s a system that works. Unfortunately we have a fairly medicalised view of birth here in Australia. A lot of couples choose to hire a private obstetrician for their pregnancy and labour. There are many fantastic obstetricians out there, and there are also many who have a different view on birth.
Some view birth as being dangerous which is understandable considering they have trained as high-risk surgeons, constantly on the look out for issues, pathology gone wrong, and special circumstances/complications.
When you learn about these things, then see them within your workplace, a fear around birth starts to grow. What do we do when we’re scared of something? We try to avoid it. We put measures in place so we don’t see the potentially bad outcomes.
The issue with this is that it may improve the immediate physical health of a mother and/or baby but no or little consideration is taken into the long term physical or mental health of mum, partner and baby. And that’s what the parents have to live with.
A study was recently undertaken asking obstetrician about professional liability. Due to the fear of being sued, 24% of OB’s surveyed stopped looking after high-risk women and 17% admitted to increasing the number of c-section births – not because they were necessary, but because they were scared of litigation.
The fact is when you choose private obstetric care, you have a higher chance of interventions being introduced and higher likelihood of a caesarean birth. If you have chosen obstetric care and are wanting a physiological birth, it is important to find out the obstetricians caesarean birth rates. This will give you a good indication if you will be supported in your natural birth wishes.
Would you employ a urologist every time you emptied your bladder or a proctologist for every bowel motion?
When we seek out midwives who are trained in low risk, physiological birth, we are more likely to get a physiological experience.
When we need specialised obstetric care for circumstances that need it, we thank our lucky stars we have access to life-saving technology and the experts in emergency birth.
90-95% of birth is low-risk – let’s keep it that way by seeking out a wonderful midwife!