Congratulations! You’re pregnant. There are so many things to plan and look forward to. Besides the name of baby, the room colors, etc., the one thing that may be tough to decide on is who should be your care provider. Depending on where you live, your options may include, a family doctor, an OB/GYN, or a midwife. How do you choose? What are some things you can ask your potential candidates? I hope by the end of the article you’ll know what to ask and start thinking about what is important to you for your birth experience.
Questions specific to a midwife
You want to know the stats of the provider you are choosing. This can tell you what kind of care you will likely receive. If it is an OB/GYN or family doctor, they are most likely associated with a hospital and those statistics are a matter of public record. Here in NYS, you can go to http://profiles.health.ny.gov/
Things you will be looking for is what are the percentage of Cesarean sections, what are the percentage of vaginal birth Cesarean, What is the percentage of drug use in labor, the percentage of Epidurals, the percentage of vaginal births, and more. It is nice to be able to compare and contrast the hospitals you are looking at in comparison to each other and the national average.
Though it’s a big decision to decide on a care provider for you and your baby, just know that if you feel you are not getting the care you need with the provider you have chosen, no matter how far into the pregnancy you are, you can switch your care to another provider. Whoever your final candidates may be, ask family and friends for their recommendations or if they have had experiences with those particular care providers. The first thing we do in making a choice a household service or before hiring a mechanic, is ask friends who they recommend. How much more so care should be given in choosing a provider to attend on us as we bring our child into this? I wish you the best in choosing your provider as you build your birth team. Happy birthing!
Birth workers have long known the importance of holding the space during a woman’s labor. The goal has always been to make sure she feels safe and able to be vulnerable, to give in to the waves of birth without judgement, and as little interference as possible. The benefits of letting her body guide her are numerous. Holding the space, however, does not end with the birth. It should continue on after the birth. This is the moment the family has been waiting for.
Allowing the mother, partner, and baby to adjust and become one is so important. There are physiological and emotional needs being met in that first hour. It is sometimes a struggle for the birth worker not to swoop in busily doing this and that. Really, what mom needs is a moment to allow her body and mind to adjust and take in what just happened. She is coming out of birthing mode. For some this may mean holding her baby and looking into baby’s eyes and others they may need time before connecting to baby both are fine. Ina May Gaskin wrote in her book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, of the first hour – “We have no routine that interfere with the euphoria that is present in the birth room…They are falling in love. We enjoy witnessing this process while being conscious not to interrupt it.”
Stepping into the background and letting the family’s natural rhythm unfold. Respecting and honoring that first hour is the best thing that those in the birth room can do for the family. As long as mom and baby are in good health, less interference is only for the best and can affect that family circle’s rhythm for the best for the long run.