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I am an about-to-be liscenced midwife in the Portland area who has been fortunate enough to work with amazing women in many different settings. Midwives are dedicated, educated specialists in normal birth who practice under the Midwives Model of Care, as described by MANA:
The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:
monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
minimizing technological interventions and
identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
We have a defined scope of practice, regulated by the state. It excludes women who are truly high-risk (pre-eclampsia or AIDS, eg) from attempting an out-of-hospital birth. I cannot fathom a midwife who does not want the best outcome for her client (healthy mother, healthy baby). It is in our scope of practice to attend the births of twins, breeches and VBAC's if the pregnancy is otherwise normal. (The conservative ACOG themselves just released a statement endorsing relaxing access to VBAC's)
We are liscenced by the state to carry certain medications, certified in Neonatal Resuscitation Protocols, and have passed an extensive certification process. One of the main differences between a midwife caring for a normal, healthy mama and an OB is the time we spend with our clients and the relationship we are able to build. I have personally been involved in a number of beautiful births that took place in a hospital setting, and I'm sure there are many OB's who wish they had the time to practice like we do.
Communication between the OB world and the midwives is key. I have been fortunate enough to work with a practice that has had good reception for almost all of our transports. This has not been by accident, but by the dedication of our midwives making the effort to attend meetings with the OB's at our primary transport hospital, and their effort in return, attending meetings at our facility. This river of knowledge and trust is vital to preserving birth choice in Oregon.
posted 2 years, 9 months ago
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