Birth Choices: Why I’m Having A Midwife

I was walking around the house last night with our Aussie bloke of a real estate agent. We were taking photos of our house to put up on the website this week.

So, have you decided where you’re having your baby?
Yeah, we’re going through the midwifery group program at Bunbury Regional.
Really? My daughter just had a home-birth with them and it was amazing. She’s still buzzing from the experience.

You never know who is going to ask you about your birth choices..do you?

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There are not Labour and Delivery nurses in Australia. There are midwives and doctors. When I went to find a doctor, I asked around. I did my research. I then settled on one and after meeting with our Doula I was introduced to the ‘Midwifery Group Program‘ at our local public, yes public, hospital.

Women and their families will be provided with care and support by a small group of midwives throughout pregnancy, birth and postnatally for up to 4 weeks at home if necessary.  Antenatal appointments with the midwife, will take place in the home, the hospital or a community clinic.  Women will also see their GP obstetrician several times during your pregnancy.

I have a GP (General Practitioner—> like a delivering family doctor in America) and you can choose to have an OB if you’d like. However, I don’t see my GP as often, instead I have a midwife whom I see throughout the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. We have already gone over:

  • Birth plan (which is not set in stone)
  • Water birth option
  • Home birth option
  • All of the interventions post-delivery (vitamin K, delayed cord clamping, Hep B injection, etc.)
  • Measurement and assessment of my growing belly
  • Has access to all of my medical, pathology and ultrasound records

It’s continuity.

I thought long and hard about it, as I only had the idea of a doctor delivery my baby in stirrups in agony…as my choice. I have since changed the view of labour and appreciate what midwifes do and the options afforded to have more control over how I approach the birth of our baby. For me, A LOT of stress has been alleviated around who will be there supporting me, because I will have one of three midwifes. I’m not just going to get the on-call doctor. To me that is important, for some it may not be.

I love the fact that I get to meet in my home. Have different options and discuss thoroughly any questions that I have. I’d normally be slotted in for a 15 minute appointment with my doctor. My first appointment with my midwife was 2 hours.

Beyond that, I’m a stats nerd

[…] women who give birth at midwife-led birth centers experience exceptional outcomes and are less likely to undergo cesarean birth compared to those who give birth in hospitals. [source}

[…] the study, which included more than 15,500 women who received care in 79 midwife-led birth centers in 33 US states from 2007 through 2010, found that fewer than one in sixteen (6 percent) of participants required a cesarean birth compared to nearly one in four (24 percent ) similarly low-risk women cared for in a hospital setting. [source]

I have spoken to a lot of women and although they’d say that “I’m just so happy that I have my baby”…they’d then lament on about how they wished they had had more control over their birth. It was rushed, scary, traumatic, out of control. I’m an not silly to think that my birth won’t be scary, potentially feel out of control and/or have something that needs immediate intervention. I suppose that I’m wanting to lay the foundation for a birth whereby I have the support around me of like-minded people. Maybe I’m a freaky hippie, but the thought of having someone gowned and gloved in surgical gear for a normal birth is something I do not want if I can at all avoid it.

If a woman receives care that she feels is traumatic or disrespectful, if affects her physical and emotional health, and interrupts the critical early bonding period with her baby.

So, I’m having a midwife. I’m having a water birth most likely at the hospital. I’ll endeavor to wail about and labour as much as possible at home where I can eat, drink and just be in the experience. (man I do sound like a hippe…maybe I’ll look back on this post and say to myself — if you only knew Michelle). I think that more women need to take control of how they want to labour, how they want to give birth, how they want to be supported. There should always be options for women to choose how they want to deliver (home birth to planned c-section). I’m excited that where I live I have the option to be part of this program that is not only supported by the government but is also supported by local doctors who partake in it.

~Mish

As always doctors are lovely and needed. One of my close friends is an OB/GYN in Perth and for some mama’s having specialist care is needed. I’m considered low-risk and that is why I feel it’s safe for myself to be part of this program with a the link to a GP who is associated with it. As always, birth is your own choice, child rearing is your own choice. As women I think it’s important to choose what you want and be informed. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Birth Choices: Why I’m Having A Midwife

  1. Leah says:

    I think you are spot on Mish! I thought long and hard about what I wanted but knew it could change at any time depending on circumstances (which it did, but with a good outcome). I would have gone with a midwife at a hospital of birth center had that option been closer (45min one way for me), but I love my doc who had been my gp prior and will now be the baby’s (he also delivers all his own unless he is out of town). I’ve told my mother she should seriously consider becoming a doula.

    I’m loving reading about the differences between Australia and America (didn’t know laughing gas was still used and is on the rise again!). Hopefully America will catch up (which I think they are starting to) as far as options for women are considered. Also hope our society continues to grow in empowering women to make educated decisions regarding their own care.

    Long winded. Sorry. I just identified with about everything you said! I wish you all the best in your experience! I’m so happy for you. 🙂

    • Mish says:

      I’m so glad that you’ve had a good birth experience. AND you’re commenting here right after you’ve had your precious little one. Creating support and experience around you that you’ve felt some control over is so important, good in you. And yes, encourage your mom to become one…so glad you had her there! xo

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