Continuity of Midwifery Care
When I became pregnant with my first baby I felt a strong urge of birthing my baby at home. Knowing things may change and I may not get the birth I wanted but the birth that would be safe for my baby I started researching home birthing in Australia and started to interview midwifes that offer continued care through my whole pregnancy, birth and postpartum time. I found my wonderful midwives Sharon and Tracey at My Midwives Brisbane North. Our guest post today is from one of their midwifes Michelle who explains what continuity of midwifery care means and what the benefits are. I will be forever grateful about the great service and support they gave me to help me birth my baby safely at home.
Why is it important to know your midwife? What is continuity of midwifery care?
Care from a known midwife or a small group of midwives has been widely studied and has been proven to have profound positive benefits for both mother and baby. Women who have the opportunity to get to know their midwife and who see the same midwife before, during and after their baby is born are reported to be more comfortable. Reports also indicate higher positive experiences of parenthood.
Knowing your midwife can decrease intervention such as induction of labour, preterm birth, helps you to achieve an optimal birth, helps you to be satisfied with the care you receive, helps you to successfully breastfeed, have a healthier baby and a baby that is borne at term. Having the same midwife at your antenatal appointments, at your birth and after you have your baby is often called continuity of midwifery care. At My Midwives Brisbane North, the philosophy of the clinic is that each mother chooses her own midwife and that midwife is then on call for her 24/7, attends her antenatal appointments, supports and prepares her for labour and remains on call after the birth of the baby for breastfeeding support 24/7. There is now a wealth of research to support continuity of midwifery care and the results are outstanding. Having your own midwife actually decreases the rate of caesarean sections, epidurals in labour and one of the most important findings is that mothers are reporting that they are feeling more in control of their own birth. In comparison, the private hospitals in Australia are reporting some of the highest rates of caesarean section deliveries in decades with no documented positive health benefits for mother or child.
I imagine that you are all thinking…. If this model is so good, then why isn’t this offered to every woman when she is choosing her model of care for her pregnancy? Historically, pregnancy care has been delivered in a hospital in Australia, it’s how our health care systems have been established.
Models like My Midwives Brisbane north are among the first of its kind in Australia. The midwifery model is a private model, the mother is the leader in her care, and she chooses who she wants at her birth and where she wants to give birth. It is so important to research your options of care providers when you are pregnant. Search for your own midwife, choose a midwife who will support you and nurture you and most importantly be available to you!
Midwife at My Midwifes Brisbane North