Women are beautifully designed to give birth! There I said it! So if there is one thing to take away from reading this blog it is that biologically our bodies are adapted to grow and then give birth to a mini human! Trusting in a woman’s ability to give birth is a different matter altogether and my work as a midwife involves me helping women to build their confidence in the birth process.
In a culture where medicalised hospital birth is the norm, and where people seem to take great delight in sharing obstetric horror stories with their nearest and dearest, it can be difficult to feel confident about birth. However, if you choose a birth professional who has vast experience of healthy joyous births, then knowing that they will be present with you when your time comes gives great comfort and reassurance.
As a private midwife I am able to build a close and trusting relationship with my client’s through continuity of care. Appointments are scheduled at the clients’ convenience and are not restricted to a timeframe. By working in this way the team of private midwives at UK Birth Centres ensure that every woman is provided with exemplary physical and emotional care, enabling them to have more control and choice when it comes to their birth decisions.
The 3 C’s Continuity Control and Choice should be the under pining philosophy of Birth Support for all women putting them at the centre of decision making. Women want a more holistic approach – an understanding that birth is an emotional, even spiritual, time for them. They need midwives who really listen and are non-judgemental.
Women need midwives to be on their side when they are feeling vulnerable in the midst of a largely impersonal system. For example, if a woman wants a home birth, even if she is deemed to be ‘high risk’, this is her decision to make and should be respected. Supporting women’s choice for their birth requires midwives who can differentiate between being coercive agents, enforcers of the system, and being advocates for the women within it. Women want midwives who understand that informed consent can only exist if informed refusal is a real option.
Many of the clients I have worked with have post-traumatic stress following a previous birth experience often leading them into a very negative period of post-natal depression. It is not acceptable that so many young healthy women who have never been in Hospital in their lives are emerging from their births both physically and emotionally broken. I help women to prepare for their birth with many strategies such as birth art, positive affirmations, Rebozzo massage, optimal fetal positioning, creative healing massage, blessing ways, Calm birth relaxation and endless hours of listening. Together we explore ways of dealing with the previous birth and build up the confidence necessary to face the forth coming birth.
Birth is only the beginning, it is when a woman becomes a Mother so we need her to be in the best physical and emotional condition possible to care for her baby. My wish would be that all women emerge from their birth experience with a greater respect in the strength and power of their bodies and a determination that allows them to succeed in anything they go on to do! We need a system of Maternity care that enables women to remain autonomous and by healing birth we would in turn heal the Planet!