Why birth centres based on the midwifery model of care can make a huge difference?

Why birth centres based on the midwifery model of care can make a huge difference? It is very important to understand the caregiver’s expertise and credentials and philosophy of birth prior to choosing any place of birth.

Midwives are guardians and experts in natural births. It is equally important to understand that natural births are ones where there are no interventions involved in the birthing process. International midwives are trained in emergency situations where they can handle neonatal /adult resuscitation if required. Birth centers unlike common perception in India are equipped with equipment that are required to deal with emergency situations.

And yes they do make a difference because they respect and honour the mothers preferences like no other medical professional as far as birth and care for her newborn is covered and time and again it is proven that the satsfication in childbirth experience is the highest with midwives.They bring with them compassionate and holistic care and they are also trained immaculately to recognise when there are deviations from the normalcy of birth. They bring in undivided attention, appointments are generally an hour long, they tune in completely to you,your baby, your family, your requests and see to it that all your queries are answered as honestly as possible. There are certain facts that most people in our country do not question as to how confident and knowledgeable they are their bodies and babies.

It is true we do primarily live in a blame culture where we would like to hand over complete responsibility to our caregiver and let them decide whats best. It very important for any individual to learn, research facts/information on what they feel is right for them and their babies.

Birth centres are a new concept as far as our country is concerned and anything that is new is fraught with controversy, rigidity and mistrust. Again what most people would come ask me is how safe is it?

Birth is safe as life. Does it mean that just because a woman is pregnant she would not work/cross road/get up from the bed? Trusting birth is a crucial element and to truly comprehend that natural birth does not require technology is a prerequisite that women must develop in their minds, bodies and souls.

Midwives do not expose women and babies unnecessarily to potentially harmful interventions. Research shows that midwives are the safest care providers for the majority of women with normal pregnancies and birth. Here are some expert on research on midwifery care.

It is safe to say that a woman should give birth in a place where she feel its safe, and at the most peripheral level at which appropriate care is feasible and safe. For a low-risk pregnant woman this can be at home, at a small maternity clinic or birth centre, in town or perhaps at the maternity unit of a larger hospital. However, it must be a place where all the attention and care are focused on her needs a safety, as close to home and her own culture as possible.

Maternal and Newborn Health/Safe Motherhood Unit of the World Health Organization, Care in Normal Birth: A practical guide. World Health Organization, 1996.

Recognizing the evidence that births to healthy mothers, who are not considered at medical risk after comprehensive screening by trained professionals, can occur safely in various settings, including out-of-hospital birth centers and homes …Therefore, APHA Supports efforts to increase access to out-of-hospital maternity care services…American Public Health Association, Increasing Access to Out-of-Hospital Maternity Care Services through State-Regulated and Nationally-Certified Direct-Entry Midwives (Policy Statement). American Journal of
Public Health, Vol 92, No. 3, March 2002. In terms of quality, satisfaction, and costs, the midwifery model for pregnancy and maternity care has been found to be beneficial to women and families, resulting in good outcomes and cost savings. … With its focus on pregnancy as a normal life event and health promotion for women of all ages, the midwifery model of care is an appropriate alternative or complement to the medical approach to childbirth. American Public Health Association, Supporting Access to Midwifery Services in the United States (Position Paper), American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 91, No. 3, March 2001. Midwives are the most appropriate primary health care provider to be assigned to the care of normal birth. Maternal and Newborn Health/Safe Motherhood Unit of the World Health Organization, Care in Normal Birth: A practical guide. World Health Organization, 1996. Midwives attend the vast majority of births in those industrialized countries with the best perinatal outcomes…Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative, 1996

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