Mamas on Bedrest: Who will attend your baby’s birth?

February 3rd, 2014

002_02Good Morning Mamas!

Have you considered having a midwife attend the birth of your baby? As a Mama on Bedrest, you most likely have been told that you are high risk and that you must have a your baby delivered in a hospital with a obstetrician. For many of us, this may be the case. But for women who go to term and in whom preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, cervical insufficiency or other complications that become somewhat moot at term, having a midwife attend your birth is a viable option.

Why consider a midwife? If you are looking to minimize the amount of intervention you receive during your birth, then having a midwife attend your birth is the way to go! Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) are highly trained and highly skilled health care professionals who have studied women’s health and the childbearing process in depth and have proficiency in providing care to the childbearing woman and her newborn baby. However, a midwife differs from an obstetrician in that she provides minimal intervention and is much more of an attendant to the process. A midwife is not a surgeon and does not bring surgical skills to the birth. However, CPM’s and CNM’s are trained in emergency procedures and are capable of managing a wide variety of birth complicatA midwife will allow a woman to birth her way; A woman may birth in bed, standing, squatting, on her hands and knees or in water (if she is an appropriate candidate for such a birth!). For women who are appropriate candidates and who choose to do so, some midwives will attend their births in their homes, in a comfortable environment, in the company of family and friends.

So who is not an appropriate candidate for having a midwife attend the birth of their baby? Any woman who has an unstable medical condition such as pregnancy induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, Uncontrolled Gestational Diabetes, placenta previa or instability of the infant. These are major medical conditions and need to be addressed by medical doctors. Any condition that necessitates a cesarean section (specifically placenta previa and potentially pre-eclampsia with uncontrolled high blood pressure) these women should be attended by obstetricians. And a caveat for Mamas on Bedrest is that because of our histories, I do not recommend attempting home births. Even if a  Mama on Bedrest is attended by a midwife, I highly suggest that she be attended in a birthing center closely associated with a hospital or in a hospital where emergent medical care can be administered quickly if needed.

Why do I bring this discussion up? Because I want Mamas on Bedrest to explore all their options for their perinatal care. Unfortunately, many Mamas on Bedrest are told how they will birth their babies, told how their birth is going to go and are simply expected to show up and let the process happen to them. Having a baby is a very active process and it is my hope that all of you are as active participants as possible! This often doesn’t happen in the traditional hospital setting. There is little room for personalization, to have family members present, to be able to stand or walk during labor, to be able to deliver in a squatting position. But in a mama, these are all viable options and options that can make her labor and delivery easier, more comfortable and more memorable. As Mamas on Bedrest we have already lost so much of our pregnancy experiences because of bed rest. And while most of you would gladly do bed rest again if it means the safety and well being of your baby, whenever possible, my hope is that Mamas on Bedrest will be able to make informed health care decisions that will not only make for healthy and safe labors and deliveries for mamas and babies, but also make for memorable moments in the life of Mamas and babies.

If you have been considering having a midwife attend your birth, see what is available in your area. You may be able to deliver in a freestanding birth center or in a birth center attached or adjacent to a hospital. You may be able to have a combination of an OB and a midwife. There are as many possibilities as we can think of, but the first step is to have the desire and then to ask and see what is possible.

Who attend your baby’s birth? Share your story in the comments section below.