Are Birthing Centres Run By Midwives A Good Idea?
Ontario is getting two birthing centres run by midwives in the coming year. This is after a long and persuasive campaign by midwives and their clients, which included sending in photos and videos of births.
Birthing centres staffed by midwives should offer the kind of care pregnant women dream of - empathetic, safe and knowledgeable. The midwives would give incredible support, follow up and respect everyone's birthing choices. It would have the comfort of home and the medical support of a hospital.
Because my first pregnancy was high-risk, I wasn't eligible for a midwife's care but I was always jealous of my friends who were able to leave the hospital within hours of the birth. Their midwives made home visits so all the follow up could be done from their bedroom. Their midwives held their hand when they were anxious, their midwives came to their house!
Instead, I had to endure hours of being woken by crying roommates (not just the babies) and harried nurses. I always found the labour part of the hospital care was fantastic but the post-partum care was horrible.
The nurses gave conflicting advice and were short-tempered. The facilities were uncomfortable and the food did not exactly induce healing. I would hope that a birthing centre would solve those those kinds of issues common in hospitals and still provide good healthcare.
I'm excited for the next generation of mothers who have so many options ahead of them, but I'm not sure what I would choose. The shadow of a high-risk pregnancy clouds my judgement. Would I still choose a hospital with proximity to a neo-natal unit, just in case? Or would I want to have the empathetic warmth of a midwife in a less-medicalized atmosphere? I'm not sure.
Would you choose a birthing centre run by midwives?
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