This summary is about birthing options in southeast Wi. from my view as a birthworker, researcher, forever student, and person. This summary is not medically based in any way.
There are three general ways to labor and birth:
1- Freebirth (aka unassisted)
2-Community based birth with midwife managed care ( home or birth center)
90% of Doula Woman clients choose hospital birth. Among these clients I serve people from a wide variety of birth preferences, personal situations, fertility, medical histories, and family dynamics.
1-FREEBIRTH. In this model, the pregnant person is the sole power and authority figure. You keep bodily autonomy during your pregnancy, labor, and birth. You alone are in charge of your baby post birth. You are the only person in charge of your pregnancy and birth and you have consciously decided to do this. During the birth process you and your baby remain a single unit. You birth in your home, another's home, outdoors or “other” such as a motel. Your labor and birth are physiologic and undisturbed. When a doula attends free birth, the scope is non-medical. I serve as an extension of you spiritually, physically, and emotionally during your pregnancy, labor, birth, and immediately post birth. Some people receive medical management during pregnancy and then free birth, while others skip medical treatments entirely. People birth this way because they have full faith and trust in the birth process and value the sacred nature of pregnancy and birth. People free birth for other reasons including: bodily sovereignty, need to maintain the mom-baby unit, freedom from captivity, history of abuse or trauma from the medical establishment, freedom from potential harm from hospital protocol, a hidden pregnancy, a maximally healthy environment, and other reasons.
2- COMMUNITY BIRTH aka PLANNED HOME BIRTH OR BIRTH CENTER BIRTH WITH A MIDWIFE. In this model, you and your midwife together manage your pregnancy and birth. You are cared for with attention, respect, and holistically. Midwives spend plenty of time with you at prenatals, work with you to reduce stress, and suggest you maintain your health and baby's health usually from a holistic perspective. You birth physiologically or close to physiologically and often primarily undisturbed. Your midwife comes to you during labor, catches your baby, and medically assesses you and your baby during labor, birth, and post-birth. A second midwife joins the primary midwife at some point during your labor so that when baby is born there is a midwife for you and one for baby. Midwives carry emergency equipment such as oxygen, newborn CPR equipment, and medicine to stop hemorrhage. You may have a nurse-midwife or a certified professional midwife and both are highly trained. These midwives operate within the scope of Wisconsin law and are accountable to the medical model; for example, you may be required to have medical test, you must be in progressing labor at least X number of hours from when your waters release, you must maintain a certain blood pressure, etc. If the midwife, at any point during your pregnancy or labor, feels you are not low-risk enough, you get “risked out” and sent to birth in-hospital. You can request a transfer to hospital at any time during your pregnancy or birth, and the midwife obliges. When a doula attends a midwife birth, as with unassisted birth, the role is non-medical. Midwives can and do help with labor support, but their basic role is “instead of a doctor” as opposed to “doula work.” Most people choose midwife attended birth for one or more of the following reasons: trust in the physiologic birth process, value the sacred nature of pregnancy and birth, wish to minimize potential harm from hospital protocol, whish to keep the mom-baby unit pure, and prefer to have emergency medical equipment and medical managers present at their birth.
3-IN HOSPITAL BIRTH WITH A HOSPITAL BASED MEDICAL MANAGER. In this model, your medical mangers (doctors, nurses, midwives) are the authority figures. You give up sovereignty of both yourself and your baby. Your medical mangers and hospital protocol have the ultimate say over you and your baby. You are a medical patient who will need inpatient status. There is a wide variety in the attitudes, protocols, and outcomes of these managers: induction rates, csection rates, "allowing" a birthing person to move freely during labor, degree of fear-based advise during pregnancy, amount of prenatal testing advised and interpretation of those tests results, and more, vary widely among these medical managers. Many people allow their medical manger to make all decisions and then they comply. Some people discuss things with their medical manger and then decide what to do. Nurse midwives are more likely to be in this discussion model. Some people do their own research and employ informed refusal to some or all of the medical protocol. As your doula I support you non-medically: I can remind you of options, work with you to encourage vaginal birth, remind you that your consent is required for each exam and intervention, provide emotional support , translate medical speak, suggest position changes and comfort measures, keep up relaxation tips, and partner suggestion. In several area hospitals, I work very closely with the nurses to help your voice be heard. I never interfere with the managers or contradict them. Your medical managers and I are part of your support circle, serving you in our respective roles. People choose medical management for many reasons such as planned epidural, desire to be seconds from an O.R. and/or nicu, custom, insurance rules, pleasing a partner or other family member, feel comfortable in hospital as a patient, fear of physiologic birth, preference to hand over control of their birth and baby to medical protocol.
UNPLANNED COMMUNITY BIRTH. This happens when you planned to allow managed birth by a doctor or midwife either at home, hospital, or birth center, and your baby is born prior to the arrival of the medical provider and/or prior to your arrival at the hospital. Most of the time this happens when you have a fast labor or fast fetal-ejection-reflex. This could happen due to logistics, such as extreme weather, traffic jams, being tied to duties such as providing childcare, family member care, or paid employment.
Sincerely, Martha at Doula Woman in Milwaukee, Wi. 262-902-8714. And feel free to ask me how to obtain more info. on any or all of this.
Doula support to all people from Martha at Doula Woman
Always open for birth