Sunday, 10 July 2011

Past pain free labours 3

During the 1970s and 1980s, there was a social shift to accepting hospital births as a norm, local doctors in the comunity offered a intermediate service which allowed women to be cared for and birth in a GP Birthing Centre. A wonderful midwife who I have worked with for many years, was working at a GP birthing centre during this time. These centres were very popular for low risk women who could attend and give birth with a community midwife they knew well. This was a homely setting which added to the women feeling at ease. During the 18 months Margaret worked there, none of the women she cared for needed any pain relief. They were calm and relaxed and able to move around freely in the company of someone they trusted. Moving around freely and staying upright is an inportant factor with pain free labours as discussed in the post - Staying upright.
Politics have taken natural childbirth away from women today and the GP Birththing Centres have been closed down. We have taught women to fear childbirth by expecting them to attend large medical institutions that can only see childbirth from a medical point of view.
OK, for a small percentage of women who undergo a home birth, transfer into hospital may be required but that should not mean that all births should take place there. Having said that, as a hospital midwife, I have had some lovely births in hospital after teaching mums how to relax in labour discussed in the post - Relax with progressing muscle relaxation. And it has worked a treat. So hospital is not a bad place to have your baby if you have the right support. There should be access to a birthing pool where relaxation is enhanced by the warm water. However, you have to be confident and in control of your labour and insist on staying upright and on having some peace and quiet in order to run through your chosen relaxation method. I always darken the room and make as little noise as possible during a normal low risk labour. You can labour safely in hospital but you will be more relaxed and in control at home. See the post - Home birth - for help in the Manchester England area for help and support in booking a home birth.

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