I also posted this on my website, but wanted to include it here as well:
I am in Tucson, AZ doing my community health rotation at El Rio’s Birth & Women’s Health Center. I came in to this rotation knowing that I probably would not see very many (if any) births, but yesterday I was fortunate enough to be allowed to sit in on someone’s birth.
It was a truly lovely experience. As I spend more time around birth centers, I have heard it repeatedly mentioned that birth centers are a place where midwives can really practice the art of midwifery. The birth I witnessed yesterday clearly demonstrated this idea in the most beautiful way. Here are some highlights:
*No routine IV placement
*No limit on number of family members present (this mom yesterday had her husband, her son, her sister- and mother- in law and her nephew in there).
*No routine vaginal exams
*Someone else cleans up afterward!
*Mother’s cues were listened to and followed
*All mother/baby vitals were completed wherever mom was at the time (in the bed, on the toilet, standing by the tub)
*Midwife jumped up on the bed to help deliver the baby
*Father caught baby! (with coaching from the midwife)
In general, there are three places in which to give birth – at home, in a birth center or at the hospital. Childbirth Connections has a fantastic explanation of each of these options, along with some things for you to think about when choosing a location for your birth.