Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trust BIrth Conference

These photos were taken by Gloria Lemay


at the Trust Birth Conference in Redondo Beach California. March 6 to 10, 2008.

This was an unprecedented gathering of concerned citizens from all over the planet, coming together at the invitation of Carla Hartley, director of Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute. Carla has taught distance education for midwives for the past 30 years.

PASte this into your browser for more:

The Illusion of Midwifery in Saskatchewan; written by Lisa Wass

There are good reasons to celebrate the recent regulation and funding for midwifery services in Saskatchewan. Acknowledgement by our provincial health care system that homebirth is safe and that midwifery is a credible and necessary profession has been a long time coming.

For many years, health care professionals who considered midwifery unscientific and irresponsible have mistreated those who have chosen the midwifery model of care. As a consequence, mothers and babies have been very limited in their birth choices for decades. Truth be known, midwifery care is a scientifically sound, natural approach to normal pregnancy, birth and early parenting. It provides a standard of care that cannot be duplicated by any other system; indeed, midwives are specialists in normal birth.

The greater concern now is that the government has left it up to each individual health region to hire midwives and develop delivery systems. Saskatoon and Regina are set to hire midwives, but are having trouble recruiting the minimum numbers needed—a news release erroneously identified that each city had already recruited four midwives. In fact, no hiring has been verified.

Furthermore, there is a national shortage of midwives. Even Manitoba (whose midwifery system Saskatchewan is modeled after) has yet to meet the numbers required since its implementation in 2003. It is conceivable that, while highly desirable, funded midwifery care will not be readily accessible in Saskatchewan for perhaps more than a decade.

Midwives hired by Saskatchewan health regions will also be subject to strict restrictions on their home birth practice. In urban areas such as Saskatoon, midwives will not be permitted to serve women in a home birth capacity outside of the city limits. This is a rural province; more than half of all midwifery clients in Saskatchewan reside in rural areas.

There is room in the legislation for independent midwives to continue to work outside of the regional health districts. However, the added exorbitant cost of liability insurance, coupled with the fact that Saskatchewan health has chosen not to fund private practice, will be yet another limiting factor to accessing midwifery care. Independent midwives will need to charge more than double their currents rates just to break even under the new regulations. So, while the provincial government should be applauded for funding midwifery, effectively half of the current consumer base has just lost access to the birth services they hold dear.

Experience from other provinces, like B.C.—which has taken this same funding and jurisdiction route—would indicate that Saskatchewan can expect an increase in the number of unregulated midwives and ‘unassisted’ home births, as women scramble for options outside of hospital settings to bring their children into the world. Without consumer outcry for more flexible implementation and local midwifery education programs to combat the shortage, accessible and funded midwifery care in Saskatchewan is merely an illusion.
5a. Trusting the Process
Posted by: "Tia Rich" tia@inner-serenity.org innerserenitybirth
Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:30 am (PST)
So I am in post recovery from a birth yesterday as a Doula. This
entire last weekend I have been pondering the birthing process and the
journey it is. How we treat it in our world. So here is a the story of
the birth....

I had a client begin laboring on Feb 11th and on the 12th was 3cm
60% effaced... She lost her mucous plug and so we all thought
soon... I told her to rest, hydrate and eat. She took walks with her
mate and looked forward to the day... Well time passed and she would
have periods of regular contractions that by bedtime when she was
tired would just slide away... By the 22nd after losing two mucous
plugs and having bloody show off and on for a week. she began
contracting at 1am (Friday) 5 min apart, she rested, ate drank and
just hung through them.... This continued through the weekend...
intensity building...(baby reactive and doing well through it all)
Monday the 25th 5:30 am I get a phone call that they are pretty
intense 2 min. apart... so it's time to go to her home.... We labor at
home till I see the dilated pupils and wild look in her eyes, her
water had broken 30 minutes before... time to go Transition has
arrived... At the hospital she is 7 cm and goes to 10 within 30
minutes... Beautiful chubby baby born 90 min. later... With a thick
healthy placenta... Oh and her caregivers honored her plans (push in
whatever position, late cord clamping, mother/baby/daddy bare skin
contact without time limits, no Vacc or interventions etc...) This in
a 90% epidural rate hospital....

OK so my client knows that without me to sound her out and reassure
her she would have gone to her caregiver and would have been in the
hospital many days before this one... She was being seen by two CNM's
and a OB in practice together. She knows she most likely would have
ended up on Pitocin and much more had they known about her pattern of
labor... I find this sad that "I" was their saving grace from that

None of the books that most people read really talk about labor and
birth looking like this... So how are mothers to know that what their
body is doing is perfectly normal. This woman happened to be highly
attuned to her body and baby. More so than most woman, I truly believe
that is part of what let her slowly labor her baby out. She labored
for hours and hours over the weekend and would sleep when she needed
it, her body and adapting to those needs...

She did so much of the work of labor calmly, relaxed, smiling... The
intense part was very intense, but also very short in comparison to
the whole process... In all this woman and her mate had an experience
full of respect and beauty without fear and manipulation.

This is a pattern we need our caregivers and ourselves to honor, that
we need to write about and teach... I believe even midwives need to
really look at this, and learn to trust and honor the birth process. I
see many who fear the process that is not "normal". So what is normal?
That is not a simple answer, normal is as different as each individual
person is.

This journey I shared in was natural and very normal, not
maladaptive... Instead of seeing the normal pattern, most see problems
and look for reasons why the baby isn't popping out in the 14 hr
medical time plan...Of course back in the 60's normal labor was
thought to last as long as 36-38 hrs... In the 80's it was knocked
down to 24hrs, we now expect it to last 14 hrs... Have our bodies
changed so much?

Tia Rich