Uncategorized | Winnipeg Doula

The Benefits of A Winnipeg Midwife | Winnipeg Doula

By on November 18, 2017

While almost everyone has heard of a midwife, I find that few people truly understand what midwifery care includes- and why having a Winnipeg midwife is so awesome! Before going into the process of how to obtain a midwife in Winnipeg, I think it’s important to explain how their care differs and why you want one- even if you don’t know it yet!

A midwife in Winnipeg provides the same professional medical care during both the prenatal period and birth that you would receive if you were to choose an obstetrician or family doctor to attend your birth. As a client of midwifery you can receive all the same testing and access to resources that you would normally expect. Midwives are highly trained professionals with expertise in birth. Fortunately- with midwifery you get so much more than just a medical provider!

 

Informed consent.

One of the basic and yet most important tenets of midwifery care is informed consent. In my experience this has gone so far beyond a simple “This is happening, ok?” to a true desire to ensure that the family understands all options presented and makes the best decision for themselves. Appointments with midwives are filled with information and dialogue about the existing and newest research and evidence based practice- and how that may effect you and your pregnancy and birth.

Long Appointments.

During my second pregnancy, I LOVED having extra long appointments with my midwife. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the experience with my previous OB where a “long appointment” only referred to the amount of time I spent sitting in the waiting room. This extra time with my Winnipeg midwife meant that we had a chance to go over not just my weight and blood pressure (Actually, many midwives won’t even worry about your weight, focusing more on other markers, but that’s another blog), but could delve into how I was feeling emotionally, and to help me prepare for the upcoming birth and changes. I left each appointment feeling heard, and more confident, more supported.

Stronger Relationship With Those Likely to Attend Your Birth.

One of the wonderful pros of working with a Winnipeg midwife is that you have a far greater chance of actually having met the care provider who ends up being there at your birth. When you choose to work with a Winnipeg OB, your doctor typically works in a call group of 6-8 doctors, any of whom may be the one to actually attend your birth. It’s common to have all your appointments with one doctor throughout your entire pregnancy and then only have one or two five minute appointments with a second doctor from the practice at the very end. This means there’s still 4-6 or so doctors who have an equal chance of being there for your delivery whom you have never met before, or sometimes even heard their name.

I loved during my pregnancies to have a chance to meet and get to know each midwife on my team. I felt fully supported and comfortable with any of the midwives who might show up on my birthing day.

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Choice of Place of Birth

While many people under the care of midwives still prefer to give birth in the hospital, there are many who love being able to take advantage of two other options- a homebirth in Winnipeg, or a midwife attended birth at the Women’s Health Clinic Birth Centre. Both are a wonderful and safe option for low risk individuals who desire a more natural experience for their labor. Your midwife will go over all the safety measures in place for you (It can seem daunting until you realize how well trained and equipped they are!), and you are free to choose whichever place of birth appeals most to you (barring medical changes which would require you to change to a hospital birth). Since many studies now have shown that homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth, it is so great to be able to have the choice to birth where you prefer.

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Postpartum Care

It’s almost difficult to put this point into a brief paragraph. When I speak with women who are considering midwifery care, one of the things I always bring up is the level of postpartum care that you experience with a Winnipeg midwife. In Winnipeg, you remain under the care of your OB until 6 weeks postpartum, and your infant transfers to the care of your pediatrician or family doctor. Once you are discharged from the hospital, you typically won’t see your doctor again until your 6 week discharge visit. This visit is often fairly quick, focuses on your healing from vaginal or cesarean birth, and if no immediate concerns are raised, you are sent on your way until your next pregnancy or pap smear. While some awesome providers out there do inquire more into your healing process both physically and emotionally, it doesn’t seem to be standard practice.

In contrast, Winnipeg midwifery care follows both parts of the mother/baby dyad for a full six weeks. During these weeks you will receive several visits at home, and at the midwifes office. To me, this aftercare makes all the difference in recovery from birth, considering not just your physical recovery, but also the emotional adjustment to all the changes that have occured! My midwives were an amazing resource with breastfeeding, stress management, reassurance daily when needed about normal healing processes, and any other questions I could come up with regarding having a new baby at home. The switch to a level of care that covers both mother and baby is an important one– so much in these first weeks affects both parts of your little team!

 

Have I convinced you yet? Stay tuned for a blog about how to get a Winnipeg midwife. I want to take a second as well to acknowledge that Winnipeg is also home to some -amazing- family doctors who attend births, (I’m looking at your Dr Reynolds and Dr Schneider!) and Obstetricians. There are absolutely some gems out there! If you find your experience a little lacking though, don’t forget about the amazing complement of having a doula at your birth as well! Doulas work wonderfully alongside midwives and other care providers to tend to your positive experience. Visit my services page for more information about what I offer as a doula.

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<3 Gratitude

By on December 1, 2016

Five weeks post birth with our third baby and I have yet to even open a document to start recording his magical birth story. But this thank you letter to my doula has been on my mind constantly, writing and editing inside my mind, trying to think how to do justice to the gratitude my husband and I have for her.

 As a doula myself, I knew as soon as we started planning our birth that I wanted a doula and a photographer there. To me, your birth days are just as important as your wedding day, and the people you surround yourself with, and the memories you take from that day, will stay with you forever. Which is why I felt extremely blessed to know right away who it was that I wanted at my birth, and even more blessed when she agreed.

I’ve known Catherine for several years as parents, and was lucky enough to take a doula training course with her last fall. Since then we have acted as backups for each other, and it has meant the world to me to have her as a doula sister, knowing that she held the same trust and awe in birth that I did, Catherine truly understands not just the basic mechanics of birth, but the holistic reality that birth is a spiritual and deeply emotional event as well.

With this being my third baby, I didn’t have many questions or concerns about the physical side of pregnancy or birth. I knew my body could and would birth a baby successfully, and I felt confident in the team my husband and I had surrounded ourselves with. But I was surprised in the last weeks by how much I still leaned on Catherine, and took comfort in her wisdom and encouragement. And when the time came to make calls for the birth, it was the one to her that I was most excited about.

We were able to have a wonderful waterbirth at home, and Catherine’s sure, calming presence throughout kept both my husband and I centered. And the photos she took of the occasion will be treasured and revisited countless times over the years, of this I am sure. Catherine was able to switch seamlessly between acting as my photographer, and holding space for me as my doula when she could see that I needed the extra reassurance. I absolutely cannot imagine my birth experience without her.

I urge you, if you are on the fence and considering a doula and/or a photographer. Get one. Take the plunge. Do what it takes to ensure you are supported as well as I was on one of the most important days of your life.

“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” – John Kennell, M.D.

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