Thursday, 13 December 2012

Thank you NHS

I spoke to a young lady recently who I was to review her birth plan with. She told me that she wanted an epidural and episiotomy.
I was speechless.
She was low risk with normal deliveries achieved at her last births. I was told that it was normal in her culture to have an epidural and episiotomy as standard. A doctor delivers the baby and obstetric nurses care for you in labour and after the birth. Not a midwife in sight.
It took a while but I eventually persuaded mum to at least try the birthing pool at her local birth centre before opting for a medicalised birth. I described how the warm water eases away any aches and would keep her relaxed during the labour. Delivering in the pool would help her perineum to stretch naturally and she could maybe avoid any trauma to her lady bits. Baby would be listened to every 15 minutes to ensure they kept nice and happy.
She was certainly very interested in this strange way to labour and birth and eventually decided to at least give it a try.
I have spoken to lots of women who come from a culture of medicalised care in labour and when they decide to try the pool they get back to me with glowing reports. "I didn't know it could be that good, I was in the pool and no way was I getting out. My baby was born in the water and it was simply wonderful".
With the increasing number of Midwifery Led Birthing Centres opening in the UK, I feel we need to say a silent thank you to the good old National Health Service (NHS) and all the dedicated workers who strive to empower women to seek a more natural way to birth their babies.
Thank you.

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