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While this show is about home birth vs. hospital birth, I want to make sure people know that there is another option: a hospital-based birth with midwives. Here in Portland, OHSU, Legacy and Providence all have hospital-based nurse midwifery practices. (Links are directly to nurse-midwife practices.)
I had a C-section with my first baby, and a VBAC with the midwives at OHSU with the second. My experience being under the care of a midwife was vastly different and vastly better than my experience with an OB.
The main thing I wish I had known before my first birth is that an OB/GYN is a surgical specialist, trained to spot and treat gynecological and pregnancy-related problems. However, most women have normal, uncomplicated pregnancies, and don't need specialized medical care during their pregnancy.
Midwives and nurse midwives take a much more nurturing approach, treating pregnancy and birth not as medical events, but as emotional, physical and spiritual processes that may have a medical element in some cases.
Most importantly, women need to understand the implications of the care provider they choose. Books I found helpful in educating myself were:
- "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer (Provides an overview of the philosophies, approaches and roles of OBs, OB nurses, nurse midwives, direct entry midwives, and doulas/labor assistants in birthing babies.)
"Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin (Provides a whole host of stories from women who have had positive birth experiences, as well as presents a birth philosophy outside the mainstream American cultural paradigm.)
Thanks for starting a conversation about this topic.
posted 4 years ago
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