Midwifery linked to better birth outcomes in state-by-state “report card”

Midwifery linked to better birth outcomes in state-by-state “report card”

Midwife-friendly laws and regulations tend to coincide with lower rates of premature births, cesarean deliveries and newborn deaths, according to a U.S.-wide “report card” that ranks each of the 50 states on the quality of their maternity care.

The first-of-its-kind study found a strong connection between the role of midwives in the health care system – what the researchers call “midwifery integration” – and birth outcomes. States with high midwifery integration, like Washington and Oregon, generally had better results, while states with the least integration, primarily in the Midwest and South, tended to do worse.

As with most population health studies, the statistical association between the role of midwives and birth outcomes doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Other factors, especially race…. read on at https://www.med.ubc.ca/midwifery-linked-to-better-birth-outcomes-in-state-by-state-report-card/?fbclid=IwAR1uUUv79adj85mgaCSichkCjGKpTMlYNogWxZXUTQwBqJFrEV0wRxuvkBI

How to pursue a homebirth

So you want to have a homebirth but dont know where to start? Here a guideline to push you in the right direction.

  1. Find a midwife (or three) to talk to. Ask all your questions of what it will be like and make sure you voice any big fears you have. Your midwife will be used to talking through these with clients and may have a perspective that you haven’t even considered yet.

  2. Reserve your spot! Pay your deposit for the midwife you want to work with so your spot is held. Midwives have a small number of clients they can take each month and they usually book up far in advance. If you want in, then it makes sense to work fast.

  3. Read through all your paperwork, make sure you understand the expectations your midwife has of you and what you can expect from her. Write down important dates in your calendar.

  4. Stay invested in your care. Continue to eat and drink according to your midwives guidelines. Work to be informed about your care and ask all your questions as they come up.

I hope this is helpful for all you soon-to-be-pursuing-homebirth clients out there!

Creating your birth space

You probably know that you want to have a calming and relaxed environment for your birth. This is because your cervix is really quite demanding with it’s very own timetable of how quickly it wants to dilate. So bossy! But it only want to dilate in a space that feels safe and for your cervix, you’ll do anything so let’s get started.

You can create this space in lots of different ways and simply being in your own home is an excellent place to start! Bring enough of your own things and you can set up a hospital room to be very cozy too.

I like to think though all five of the senses when preparing a birth space. Let’s start with what you will see. Here is where birth affirmations come in, the low lighting (think lamps and candles),and a clean environment. During a natural birth, your eyes will be closed at least half the time, when they are open they won’t always be focused but every once in awhile, when you are focused, it would be great if see something encouraging and beautiful before you sink in again.

Next let’s do what you smell. Here is the essential oil diffuser, attendants who don’t smell like anything (no BO people!) and bland food. Fresh fruit, cheese and nuts work well. Fresh ice water is a must (okay, well I guess this covers what you will taste too).

How about what you hear. Heres your birth playlists which could be songs or the sound of waves. Voices around you should be soft, calm and encouraging. You could have a carpet on the floor too so the sound of steps is muffled.

Finally is what you will touch. This is where water shines! In the shower, bath or a birth tub all forms of water is soothing and when immersed, the weight of your own body is lighter so you can change positions without the groans.

So when your preparing your birth space, grab an aspect for each of your five senses, make it your own and give your cervix a place to do its thang.

How to Prevent Tearing During Birth: A Midwives Method

Almost every client is worried about tearing during the birth of her baby. Tearing is a real and legitimate fear women have and I am glad that I have the experience to address it! When I read blog posts I want writers to GET TO THE POINT so, I’ll go ahead and bullet out a midwives approach to preventing tears during birth now.

1. Slow down drastically at the birth of your babies head.

2. Support your tissues externally as they stretch during birth.

3. Get body work at term to keep you and your baby in an ideal position for birth.

For those of you who want more information about those bullets above I will go into detail now.

1. Slow down drastically at the birth of your babies head:

The whole purpose of this is to allow the vaginal tissues to stretch instead of popping open. (I know some of you just did a involuntary kegel with that word pop! Lol.) When a client reaches term, we discuss that when she feels a burning or stinging sensation during pushing (otherwise known as ‘the ring of fire’), she should communicate that to me. This is the point where the head is crowning, or where the largest portion of the head is at the vaginal opening. Its interesting to me that slowing down at crowning isn’t something that women naturally do. Its much more common for women to feel the intensity of crowning, think to themselves that they can finish the birth real quick and just blast the baby out. This is the point when your support people come in. When I see and hear that a woman is crowning I say a couple things. First, I ask her to take a breath, then open her eyes and tell her it’s time to slow down. Then we lock eyes and take a couple big breaths together. If she can just breathe through a couple contractions, allowing her uterus to push but not putting force behind it, that is usually all the stretching that the tissues need to be tear free!

2. Support your tissues externally as they stretch during birth:

Otherwise known as perineal support. See image below.

When I’m at a birth as a midwife, I use a folded washcloth to support the anus and perinuem as much a possible during every contraction once there is active head movement with pushing. This extra exterior support not only reminds mom to slow down but also holds the skin together to keep tearing from happening. Perineal Support is even more beneficial if the mom is providing it for herself because she can feel exactly where the support is needed, but alas, it’s difficult for her to reach! Providing perineal support can be discussed with your care provider to see what their practice is.

3. Get body work at term to keep you and your baby in an ideal position for birth:

An ideal baby position at birth will keep the diameter of the head the smallest it can be to lessen the likelihood or tearing. This means your babies chin will be well tucked and the babies back is towards your belly, on the left hand side. Body work can align YOU, so the baby is free to move to the best position. I always recommend a deep tissue massage therapist who is comfortable working on pregnant moms for body work.

Notes to know:

There are degrees of tear depth, that go anywhere from just a scratch all the way to through the anus. See the image below:

Questions? Feel free to contact me or comment below.

Is homebirth messy? 

That homebirth is messy is a common thought for individuals who haven’t seen birth or a brand new to it. There’s an idea that fluids shoot out of the mother’s body followed quickly by fluids from the newborn’s, and soon enough there is blood dripping from the ceiling! Or wait… Maybe that was my idea when I first started going to births. I think that partly had to do with my fear that went hand-in-hand with thoughts of birth. The fear that mother’s bleed too much, there’s a whole lot of screaming and that women couldn’t do it without their doctors, preferably male at that. Oh how I’ve changed!

My fear has been replaced with reverence. My work at Birth is done with compassion and in awe of the power that we as women hold to produce and sustain life straight out of our bodies! It is fantastical! Okay I might have just made that word up but it fits perfectly. Can you imagine that one body produces another. So have I seen a mother Hemorrhage and bleed too much… Yes of course. Have I seen her leave little puddles behind her as she walks across the floor, yes of course. Have I seen her water burst, spraying the area around her, yes of course! And guess what? It’s all quickly wiped up. At most we have to use hydrogen peroxide to Bubble it out of the carpets, but I’m telling you it’s like the baby came from a stork by the time we leave. It’s that clean! Except for the fact that Mom is sore and exhausted from some of the hardest work she will ever do.