Posts By Category:
- Bravado Breastfeeding tips - Section One: How to get a good start (15 postings)
- Bravado Breast Feeding Tips-Section Two: How to know if it`s going well (8 postings)
- Storkcraft recalled drop-down side cribs press release (1 postings)
- My most favourite things...for under your Christmas Tree! (2 postings)
- New Strollers! (1 postings)
- Find the right fit, for the best comfort! (1 postings)
- Sunshine Kids rates well in toxicity testing! (1 postings)
- I've Got You Babe on the Web! (7 postings)
- Phil and Ted's Recall: MeToo Chairs sold after May 2006 (1 postings)
- I've got you baby - Blog! (1 postings)
Posts by Date:
Choosing a midwife
September 29 2010, 12:00 pm
This column was orignally published in the Brandon Sun's Community News on Thursday, March 25, 2010.
I’ve Got You Babe
By Kyla Henderson
What I really find refreshing and comforting about having a baby now-a-days is that you have options and when you have a baby in Westman. You have a choice between using a doctor or a midwife for your prenatal and postnatal care. I know when the better half and I decided to go with the midwife option; we faced a lot of puzzled looks and questions from family and friends who didn’t know any better. I didn’t choose a midwife because I wanted a natural birth, or a home birth (which I had, but that’s another column) but because it was my first pregnancy and I craved all the information I could get. I had a boat-load of questions, concerns and fears even, and I couldn’t see myself being satisfied with an in-and-out doctor’s appointment.
There are currently six midwives who work under the umbrella of the Brandon Regional Health Authority and care for clients inside the BRHA, the Assiniboine RHA and even see clients from Saskatchewan. The demand for midwives is growing and according to Kari Hammersly, who practiced midwifery in England before being recruited by the BRHA more than six years ago, there can be a waiting list from 12 up to 20 women a month that midwives cannot service.
The waiting list is understandable. Midwives are health professionals that have undergone a degree program to provide prenatal and postnatal care. They have all the advantages a doctor has in the hospital and order all the prenatal testing, including ultrasounds and fetal assessments and can also prescribe applicable medications if necessary. An average appointment with a midwife is an hour. Yes, you read right – an hour!
“The advantage to having a midwife is that you have a lot of continuity of care because you get to know the midwife personally and you know who you’re going to get for your delivery – that’s one big thing that women like. Also the fact we have longer visiting times...we’re very women centred. The women play the lead in the relationship. They are the decision makers. We practice under informed consent that women are part of that decision making process.”
Information is a powerful tool, especially when you are headed into labour and delivery. The better half and I had the freedom during appointments to ask everything and anything (I even asked once about poop and labour – eek!) I feel because of all this education I had under the care of a midwife, I was more relaxed during labour because I knew what to expect and the whole process went much more smoothly. Not to mention we knew and felt comfortable with our midwife, Kari, by the time labour rolled around.
Midwife care generally starts between eight and 12 weeks and continues throughout pregnancy, labour and delivery and six weeks postpartum. Midwives handle normal, low risk pregnancies, but are fully trained for emergency situations. Midwives see women in their Princess Avenue office for appointments and do deliveries in the hospital or a woman’s choice of birth within the City of Brandon limits (like the woman’s home.) Midwives can also do water births. A midwife is with the mother through the majority of her active labour and at least three hours after birth. Midwives will help establish bonding and set the mother up nursing, if she plans to do so. Midwives make three home visits the first week and generally see the parents and new baby once per week in the six weeks following birth. They routinely check weight, developmental, vitals on mom and baby, emotional issues and the general well being of the family unit.
So far the Brandon midwives have delivered well over 500 babies. I know, my little monkey was No. 500 two years ago! So if you are pregnant and thinking about your choices, a midwife might be the right fit for you! For more information about midwifery in Brandon, visit the BRHA website at http://www.brandonrha.mb.ca/en/Public_Health/Midwifery_Services/ or call the Brandon Midwifery office at 571-5530.