Just an FYI for all of you…
Midwives Resistance: How Native Women are Reclaiming Birth on Their Terms
2 FULL DAYS:
Indigenous Midwifery: Ancestral Knowledge Keepers – $150. (Proceeds go to Native American Midwives Alliance)
When: October 14-15, 8:00-5:00PM
Indigenous Birthworkers Network Birthworkers who are Midwives, Doulas, mothers…
Why would it be of benefit to you as a mother to carry your baby, using any method?
It would assure you that continuity is available for your baby. After nine months of carrying the fetus, where gentle rocking motions were constant, it would make sense to allow for this continuity to continue outside the womb.
You and your baby are bonding in the first few months after birth. Babies need to feel, smell, and touch you for assurance. It stresses baby to have separation from you. Yet, you need to get things done, right? Baby-wearing allows for both!
It assists in cognitive development (Gross-Loh, 46) when you carry your baby. The baby is in a calm state, content, and observing all the time while learning about their world.
You learn about your baby as well. The attachment of mother and baby is strengthened; mother is able to understand baby’s cues easier which develop a mutual trust.
Let’s take a look at some of the various methods used (by country):
Mexican women use the Reboso, a traditional shawl wrap that usually would be given to girls at Menarche and worn as a shawl or neck wrap until needed for carrying a baby. The Lakota use a cradleboard, the Japanese and Malasian women carried babies on their backs…
Things to Consider:
In the first six months after having a baby the hormone relaxin may be in your system. It is important to be aware of “postural adaptations that may adversely affect your spinal joints (Ohm, 18)”. If feeling Fatigued or feeling muscles tightened (such as tightened muscles of the neck or shoulders). Jeanne Ohm recommends a chiropractic visit.
When you are using your baby wrap, sling, or carrier consider your back. The higher up and closer your baby is, the more comfort you will feel.
Consider the type of carrier you will use. Of great concern are the types of slings that are like a pouch and hand low, with lots of material. It is potentially dangerous for the baby as the baby may lie in a “C” position with his/her chin tucked towards the chest. This position can potentially cause breathing issues, or asphyxia (suffocation).
The Medical model of care has been dominant for a century in the northern century. “By the 1920s the United States and Canada became the first societies in human history to do away with midwifery (186)”, only to learn decades later that women still wanted midwives and some would reinvent midwifery if necessary.
In the United States – our present times, only 10% of the babies delivered are born with the assistance of midwives. Whereas, in Western Europe and the rest of the world midwives attend the majority of the births. These nations have the lowest rates of maternal and newborn deaths.
There are some variances within the models of care. Some doctors now will practice according to the midwifery model of care. Some midwives, are employed by large hospital practices where the technological-medical model of care is the rule. They use the midwives for those women who desire midwifery care but the midwives in the medical model are pressured to work in the technological-medical model of care.
This information was taken from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Ina May is an internationally known Midwife, who has delivered babies and written books on Midwifery and natural childbirth. She works at THE FARM, in Tennessee.
The Midwifery Model of Care
This ancient form of birthing care approaches the idea of birth as more holistic way of care-giving, recognizing the female power of creation. It also acknowledges the holistic view with a seamless unity of mind, body, and spirit; that mother and baby are inseparable units, birth is a normal healthy process.
Visits are much longer. The Midwife is attentive to the pregnant woman, answering her questions. Care-giving, education, counseling are all a part of the Midwife Model of care.
Nutrition is emphasized as the means for a healthy pregnancy, good birth, and strong thriving babies. Companionship during labor is considered important to minimize the use of technology to intervene in the process of birth.
The Midwifery Model has not time-constraint on the process of birth. Labor has its on rhythm, “…it can start and then stop, speed up or slow down and still be normal (Gaskin, 184)”. Midwives give continuous assistance throughout the duration of labor and delivery, and postpartum support after the baby is born. Women can move freely and eat freely throughout the process of labor.
Medical Hospital Model of Care
A product of the industrial revolution, and male derived, its basis is technology and medicine. It is assumed that the body is machine-like, full of short-comings or defects (some has stated child-birth as “pathological”). Pregnancy and labor are viewed as an illness, and that to prevent harm to the mother and baby, must be treated with drugs and/or medical equipment. Also, birth MUST take place within 24 hours.
Mind and body are separate entities. Women are consigned to the bed in a supine position, hooked up to electronic fetal monitors, intravenous tubes, and blood-pressure machines. Eating and drinking, after a certain point in the labor process, are not allowed. Analgesia is administered to ease labor pains since the Medical Model of Care deems pain as unacceptable.
Office visits during pregnancy are short, and questions are discouraged. The mother must take the back seat in her concerns during pregnancy, and passive role during labor. Women are treated homogeneously, with individuality considered unimportant.