Following on from last week’s post about homebirth, I wanted to touch on this week why it’s important who’s at your birth.
One of the changes that we know all maternity services across the UK are trying to change is that women get to know their midwife (or small team of midwives) and that they stay with them throughout.
This is called “Continuity of Care”. Continuity of care has demonstrated:
- A substantial decrease in the stillbirth rate
- Increase in the women who are satisfied with their birth experience (information, birth place, preparation for labour, choice of pain relief)
- An increase in the number of women who birth vaginally
- Reduction in the number of women that need induction/augmentation
- Decrease in the use of analgesics
- Decrease in surgical interventions
- Increase in the number of women breastfeeding their baby
- Reduced hospital stay
We know it’s a good thing. Look at above!
These findings are very similar to the evidence that having a doula supporting your birth provide.
But how does that make a difference? Why is it so important who’s at your birth?
Well, firstly it’s about trust and developing strong relationships with the person looking after your care. Because when there’s trust, rapport and good relationships – you will communicate much more effectively, you will listen to each other and most fundamentally, you will relax. You don’t need to explain your birth wishes at the birth. You don’t need to make small talk. You can get on with focussing on your body.
We also know when women feel EMOTIONALLY SAFE, that women experience much better births. This is because of how the brain/body/chemicals all interact. When we feel safe emotionally, we will birth much more easily.
It’s a simple thing that’s overlooked. When we feel scared, we are around strangers, people we need to get to know, observing us – it increases our pain levels. If you have someone you trust, re-assuring you – you immediately relax. Whilst it doesn’t necessarily stop the pain, it allows your body to produce all the chemicals it needs to manage that pain.
Having a positive birth doesn’t come from inaction – it comes from everyday commitment. So what are you going to do today?
Much love, Tricia xxx