Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Midwifery model of care

I enjoyed Jill's recent post about her thoughts on the midwifery model of care. She contrasts her two very different birth experiences and the types of care she received. I especially agree with her take on birth plans:
I'll never sit back and put 100% of my trust in any physician ever again. Even with my home midwives, the majority of the learning, research, and general work I did was fueled by my own desire, not by what they told me to do. It is so incredibly important for women to educate themselves on what's going on with their bodies, especially if they are using a model of care that doesn't take a personalized approach.

It's been said that if you need a birth plan to tell your provider what you want, then you've got the wrong provider. I think this is very true. I didn't even need to think about writing a birth plan with my home midwives, because not only had we already discussed in depth what I wanted and expected during labor, but it was assumed that, barring any medical necessity or danger, I would be getting what I wanted anyway.
She saw midwives for both of her pregnancies, so it's not simply the provider's initials or location that determines the quality of care a woman will receive.

I also wanted to urge any of you living in Virginia to contact your local representatives about some restrictive midwifery legislation recently introduced to the House of Representatives. Jill has more about it on her blog.


  1. YAY! :D Thanks Rixa!

    I like this new layout too, but not as much as the other one. The words on the left get cut off.

  2. Oh and although it's true that I saw midwives for both pregnancies, with the first it was CNMs based out of the hospital, and the second it was independent CPMs.

  3. I do think a birth plan is critical if you are going to be birthing in the hospital, even if your chosen birth attendant already knows and respects your wishes. In a hospital you will be dealing with a nursing staff that you didn't pick and don't have a relationship with. I have found it very helpful to have a birth plan to give them when I arrive in labor. I have personally had positive experiences with hospital staff respecting the wishes expressed in my birth plan. I would think with a home-birth midwife such a plan would be unnecessary because the personal relationship is already there.

  4. Jill,
    What I meant was that just because you're seeing a midwife, it doesn't mean she practices along the midwifery model of care. I didn't specify the different kids of midwives, though, that is true.

    So on your screen, the short poem on the left gets cut off? How much of it? On my screen, I see all the words and quite a bit of more background to the left of the words. I could resize the words somewhat for people who have lower screen resolutions...

    Yes, I can see the value of a birth plan in a hospital because you're interacting with so many people you've never met before. But in a way, isn't that part of the problem of institutionalized care? That you're interacting with a team of strangers and often don't even know who your doctor or midwife will be until you arrive, unless you're fortunate enough to have a birth attendant who tries to be at all her patient's births if possible (and some hospital midwives and doctors do this, but it's more the exception).

  5. Oh, yeah, you're right. I think that's a trap a lot of women fall into (I was one of them). "I have a midwife, I'll be able to have a good/natural/gentle birth." Not always so!

    For me, the beginnings of the first word in each stanza get cut off. The first French word I only see "n'avez," and just the "u" of "You."

    I'm having the same trouble with the left side


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