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Birthing centers can offer a refuge from the stress of child birth.
By: Elizabeth Thompson Sixty years ago, women giving birth in hospitals were put to sleep to deliver. This is surprising, after all how can cheap canada goose freestyle vest black sale push when you are asleep? Needing to push is a common misconception about child birth. Women were put to sleep and their bodies would contract and deliver the baby on its own. Today in hospitals pushing is expected. The consequences of pushing can include vaginal tears and the necessity of being cut. These procedures and outcomes are part of a quick no-mess-no-fuss attitude. Doctors do not spend the entire process with the expecting mother. In fact cheap canada goose freestyle vest black sale are rarely there to assuage concerns or answer questions until the time comes for the grand finale. In a birthing center the mid-wife will stay with the women from start to finish. The entire birthing experience is structured according to the, needs and feelings at the time. There is no time pressure and there are a multitude of birthing options available such as water birth, birthing stool, bed and chair. All of these options can be tried and switched as many times as necessary, compared to a hospital where a birth plan is required prior to delivery or decided quickly upon arrival with little room for manoeuvring or change of mind.

The term “midwife” is considered “old-fashioned”, but in fact, midwives are still common and being used today. Compared to a hospital having a baby in a birthing center with a midwife has multiple advantages. The environment of a birthing center makes what can be a very intimidating and sometimes frightening experience rather comfortable; both the atmosphere and labor progress can be affected. Birthing centers with midwives offer a more relaxed and easier labor.

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When arriving at a hospital to give birth often women will be sent home to labour without trained support until the contractions are harder and closer together. One mother of two was told by a staff nurse that she wasn’t ready, and to go home which was forty minutes away from the hospital. This mother knew her body and decided not to venture far. She went to lunch at a nearby restaurant only to be in the emergency giving birth only 3 hours later and had she stayed home until the conditions given by the nurse manifested she would have had the baby on the highway. This experience is common among pregnant women. Any concerns or questions are dealt with by a nurse. It is impossible to speak to the doctor. In a birthing center a midwife is on call and can be spoken to directly at all time of the day no concern or question is too small. All appointments with a midwife are at least 45 minutes long and include extensive explanations. Obstetricians on the other hand have months of waiting time and when an appointment is finally available; cheap canada goose freestyle vest black sale lasts rarely more than 10 minutes.

Hospitals in Montreal are attempting to re-vamp their maternity wards to create a more comforting and inviting atmosphere. However hospital policies take over and interfere with this goal. At Saint-Mary’s hospital in Cote-De-Neges the waiting area for the maternity ward consists of 10 chairs. With more than one woman giving birth at a time the family waiting room can reach upwards of 30 people. The cramped situation is only made worse by nurses and staff enforcing the strict policy that no one is allowed in the hallway. With nerves racing among most family members and anxieties high, being stationary in a tiny room is hardly a comfortable situation. Never mind that requests to see the labouring mother are rejected due to regulations. After waiting in a cramped space, when the new mother finally delivers she is whisked away and the only chance of her family seeing her and the new bundle of joy is catching a glimpse in the hallway. A birthing center offers a large lounge area for family members and the freedom to move around. The rooms look like bedrooms with rocking chairs and guaranteed privacy. Family and friends can come in and out of the room bringing food and words of support and comfort in case the baby is taking its time coming out. Music can be played. Or the women can just be left alone. In the book “The Mother of all Pregnancy Books” by Ann Douglas a study showed that due to the relaxed atmosphere of birthing centers and home births with a midwife, less pain was experience and labor tended to be shorter.

It cannot be overlooked that hospitals have more technology and equipment to help in times of crisis, however hospitals carry more bacteria and diseases then birthing centers and often all the equipment is set up with no explanation, often keeping the women immobile. If something goes wrong during birth the hospital does have everything at their finger tips; but birthing centers in Montreal are never more than three minutes drive to a hospital and midwives are trained to administer transit emergency care. The options for pain relief are more readily available at hospitals however the more natural options to reliving labor pain such as acupuncture and labor massage; pain can be dealt with by alternative methods with no nasty side effects. On the website of the most famous pregnancy book What to Expect When Your Expecting midwives say “planning home births for low risk women with adequate prenatal care [midwife] and a qualified attendant is as safe as a hospital birth” ( ) Quebec midwives follow a four year University program, so the question of training and credentials is moot.

Giving birth in a birthing center with a midwife is the best option. Giving birth doesn’t have to include an incessant train of hospital staff bombarding you with questions and orders. No scary machines annoying you, no restrictions of how often you can use the bathroom or when you can eat, and no constant poking at sensitive areas without an explanation. A birthing center allows a relaxed experience requiring no pressure where the expecting mother can take back her right to control her child-bearing experience.

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