Saturday 24 October 2009

Childbirth in the new millennium

"How Times have changed, or have they?" Interesting comparisons, Weaver.

When I was pregnant 30 years ago midwives were fighting for recognition. I gave birth, and went home 12 hours later.

In those days, if you wanted 'early discharge', you signed on with the health department and a nurse visited you daily to check you and the baby. I went home after about 4 hours with my other two births. I didn't feel well in the hospital wasting a bed! I went around taking juice to the woman across the room who was bedridden with the effects of an epidural.

My daughter had the benefit of a midwife with hospital privileges; the midwife came to her house daily for a week after the birth and gave her tips on breastfeeding. She gave birth in a birthing room, in a calm, caring environment at 4:00 a.m., and went home at 9:00 a.m. and by that time I had driven 5 hrs. to see them and help them out! It was so 'normal'. The midwife is accessible, open, understanding and experienced.

Not to say that this is for everyone. This gives the OB-GYN specialists time for the pregnant women with problems.

I think we are making much progress and we are going back to where pregnancy and childbirth is a 'normal' event and not an illness. I am glad that women have taken back responsibility for the health and their health care.

I am uncertain that homebirths are a good thing, certainly not for a first child. But that, too,  is an option for some in a 'normal' birth. This is a great relief for the health care system, as well as mothers and children who would like to have a calm and natural life passage.

I recall one of my birth experiences in which the nurse was teaching the intern how to deliver. He told me I was very calm, and cooperative (seemed like a good idea at the time!) and all was well.


Kay said...

My first gave me problems which I think were exacerbated by the doctor injecting me with too much pitocin at one time. My second was born in the elevator and my husband delivered our son without a hitch. It was late at night and the doctor who finally arrived at the base hospital tried to sew me up without anesthetic until the nurse finally yelled at him, "Are you trying to kill her?" He also botched the sewing and had to return an hour later to repair what he'd done.

So yes... maybe a midwife would have been better.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely to read about your personal experience Jenn. Glad I prompted you to remember it. Have a lovely weekend.