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Elan McAllister, founder of Choices in Childbirth, discusses birthing options after the closing of St. Vincent's, and the current bill about midwives currently in the State Senate.
I too delivered 3 of my 4 children with a midwife here on Long Island. I wanted waterbirths and she was the only person that understood me and my vision. I am Irish and it is quite normal there to have help from a midwife as you deliver your baby, if there are any problems then you can choose an ob/gyn. I thoroughly enjoyed how she cared for me and have told many people of my great birthing experiences, but nobody has ever asked to contact her. This leads me to believe that women here are just not confident enough to believe in being able to birth their babies themselves. I think it is definately a lack of education on holistic birthing and an over medicalisation of the whole birthing experience.
I delivered both of my children with midwives.My older son was delivered at St. Vincent's. After 27 hours of labor, I had an emergency c-section. The midwife made the call and the transition to surgery was as smooth as possible. It saved my life and my son's. I was in good hands.In my second pregnancy, I switched from an OB back to midwives in the eight month. I gave birth in a hospital in New Jersey. All was well. Again, I was in good hands.Midwives are professional, hands on, and completely empathetic with the birthing process. If I ever had another baby, I would be attended again by a midwife hands down.
I am aware of midwives' care, however I am someone who is definitely a "high risk" patient, for a variety of reasons. And, while I may like to work with a midwife during a birth, I am part of a group who is excluded from using a midwife. And so, I therefore feel that I am in an "abnormal" category and I don't like feeling this way. I would like to know if there is some consideration to those of us who believe of midwifery but who really would not be in an effective and safe setting without being in a hospital. I hear what is being said in your program and so how would someone like myself work with a midwife if I must also work with my OB? I just don't see how it could happen.
the guest is over-simplifying the abilities of mid wifes. they are not birth magicians. i believe in midwifery, live in brooklyn, and have a 10 month old boy. our highly touted midwife in park slope seemed ill prepared for the situation we faced at st vincents; ultimately the ob stormed in and we had an emergency c-section. though the nurses at st vincents couldnt find a straw to drink water, vaseline for chapped lips, or the oxygen mask when the business hit the fan, our baby survived. st vincents was filthy and border line third world. the midwife failed to show up for 36 hours after our nightmare experience. again, she's as highly touted as it gets in park slope.
I am an independent midwife in private practice in the Hudson Valley. We have two principal midwives in the practice, employ 5 people, rent two offices and service 5 counties. The only physicians we have found willing to sign our WPA practice over an hour away from us. We rarely transfer care to them - only for abnormal pap smears and miscarriages that require D&C etc. Usually we collaborate for pregnancy and labor with local doctors with whom we have a warm rapport. They are lovely people we have lunch with and whose kids play soccer with our kids. They will NOT sign our WPAs.
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