It’s been a great week and I hope you’ve learned more about Midwives and what they’re doing to help women in today’s world. Our Final Featured Midwife is Venessa Giron. To read her bio, please refer back to Day 1!
We have two children and both were born at 36 weeks. I was induced with both as my body would not carry to term (my OB stated it may have a lot to do with my cervix, but again, not 100% sure). Both were also admitted to the NICU right after they were delivered because their lungs were not fully developed. Our son had a collapsed lung.
1. How would this sort of situation be handled with a midwife? Could this also have been avoided entirely? We want to try for a third, but are still nervous.
I don’t feel like I can answer this question as thoroughly as I could, due to some missing pieces of information, but I will say that I don’t see how anyone would want to induce unless there was a true concern that mom or baby or both lives would be compromised otherwise. As for the cervix situation I have personally had women as early as 35-36 weeks dilated anywhere from 3 to 6 centimeters, in which case when left alone the baby came naturally between 38-41 weeks. All this to say that women can be dilated early on and still have full term babies. How do you know you can’t carry to term if you were induced? Unless there is an emergency situation I feel that it is always best to let the body do what is natural. I don’t like to say “I would have done this or I should have done that” because I don’t have all of the information about the situation and I don’t want to try to play God. It does not surprise me that the babies ended up in the NICU due to the induction. The more UNnatural the birth, the higher the risks of complications for all involved. If I had a client approach me with your situation I would do a thorough history and dig for more background on the cervical situation. I would educate and guide the woman to achieving a healthy and safe pregnancy and birth. On a personal level, I feel there are few things that disqualify a woman from having a natural birth. As a midwife I do things differently than a doctor. I practice safely but proactively and in a way that allows mommas to have the birth that they desire. I feel it is best to naturally let happen what needs to take place. I would encourage you to educate yourself about your situation and embrace the next pregnancy without fear.
2. Do Midwives have access to medicine to help with pain management? What ways do they offer to help with pain management?
No, Midwives do not have access to pain medicine, although Certified Nurse Midwives do. Most midwives do not feel that pain medicine is safe and can sometimes lead to complications for both mom and baby. When people talk about pain medicine I always encourage research about what those drugs are, what they do and if there are any side effects. In Homebirth there are a number of things that can help with pain management, movement (walking, swaying, dancing) can be key, water (shower or bath) is also helpful, eating and drinking whatever you want and don’t forget the comfort of being at home with your loved ones. Our bodies are self-healing and we were created to handle certain pain. Natural labor is one of those kinds of pain. We live in a society of quick fixes and get-it-over-withs. When we leave our bodies alone it is an amazing and empowering thing to realize the reality of how a woman’s body works and the strength she has to naturally give birth to her baby. I say this in regards to natural labor not drug induced.
3. What kinds of training to Midwives receive in the case of an emergency?
Each state has different requirements in regards to the training of their licensed midwives. However NARM (National Association of Registered Midwives) requires that all CPM’s (Certified Professional Midwife) keep current certifications for CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation. Academic programs will teach a midwife what to do in worst case scenarios. However the hands on training that apprentice midwives receive may give opportunities to watch, learn and participate in emergency situations. In interviewing a midwife, education and experience are great questions to ask.
4. What are the benefits of seeing a Midwife over a doctor? I want to give my baby the best start possible. Why would I choose to see a Midwife over a doctor?
The answer to this question can lead to an entire blog. 🙂 I will not say that doctors are bad or that they would be a bad start for what you are looking for. Doctors are great when working with high risks and they serve a special purpose. They are trained to handle worst case scenarios. They don’t learn or see natural birth which results in them not doing natural birth nor trusting it. Doctors have high patient loads, a schedule to keep, offices to run as well as answering to insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Midwives are professional but much more personable in the care they give. We take the time to care for YOU. YOU includes: your home, your family, work, stress, and diet. We take the time to care for you as if you were the best friend or sister. Because that is who you are, you are somebody’s wife, mother, sister, daughter and best friend. Personally, to me, you are not just another patient taking up my schedule or hospital room. This is indeed one of the most important and memorable times in your life – one that should be treasured and cherished. When I see you in a prenatal, we talk about your well-being and lifestyle. I will help you understand what you are feeling and going through. I allow anyone you want to come along and allow them to participate not just spectate. I help you feel your baby and how it is positioned. I believe in informed consent… there won’t be anything that would go on in your pregnancy or birth without your knowledge and consent. The following is a good link that shows a hilarious but very true answer to your question.
5. As for newborn care, are midwives able to administer the routine newborn medicines and vaccinations? Do they do newborn screenings?
Midwives are legally able to administer Vitamin K and Erythromycin (eye goop). We also do newborn screening. Neonatal vaccinations are done through a doctor and are frowned upon by many midwives. Midwives should give you research on the pros and cons of vaccinating your newborn. To find out more on how the midwife feels you would need to ask that individual midwife. We do however, continue to evaluate baby up to 6 weeks post-partum.
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