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Personalizing Your Birth Experience

January 24, 2019

For many women, giving birth is a deeply personal experience. Though everything may not go according to plan, women often spend weeks leading up to their due date contemplating many decisions: what kind of pain relief to use, labor techniques to try, and even who they want to be present at their baby’s birth.

For Juliana Mosher, the plan was to go as natural as she could—avoiding any kind of medication or epidural, if possible. Juliana even joked with her husband that she would prefer to have the baby at home, but her husband, who is a nurse anesthetist with experience in labor and delivery, was more comfortable with her delivering in the hospital.

“I wanted to accommodate my desire to have a natural birth while still being in the hospital, but I didn’t realize that was a possibility,” Juliana says.

Midwives expand women’s birth options

Juliana chose to see a physician for her prenatal appointments for the first 28 weeks of her pregnancy. It wasn’t until she attended a Meet a Midwife event at Kettering Health Network that she discovered a midwife may be the answer.

“I thought midwives were only for home births, and I didn’t think I could find them in the network,” Juliana says. “I came across the event on Facebook and decided to see what it was about. It was an opportunity to combine what I wanted and what my husband wanted.”

Juliana met Darla Baker, APRN-CNM, a nurse midwife at Kettering Health Network, and saw her for her prenatal appointments for the rest of her pregnancy.

It was the first time Juliana felt like the type of labor experience she wanted was an option. Working with Darla allowed her to express her desires for a natural birth and also gain an understanding of what is medically necessary to have a safe birthing experience.

“Darla was very knowledgeable and open-minded about my requests,” Juliana says. “Every time I wanted something, she gave me her recommendations but still gave me a choice.”

Labor with minimal intervention

When Juliana began to feel contractions, she arrived at the hospital and progressed into active labor. Darla was with her from that point, observing her condition and safeguarding the normal process of labor using almost no medical intervention. Eventually, Juliana gave birth on her due date to a healthy baby boy.

For those considering a natural labor and birth experience, a midwife may be a good option.

“For someone who has low to moderate risk factors, allowing labor and birth to happen with very minimal intervention but within the hospital with everything we would need in the event of an emergency is just the best,” Darla says.

While midwives can’t exactly replicate a home birth, they try to provide as much of a home environment as they can at the hospital. Though they can accommodate a women’s desire to have a natural birth, midwives support the woman’s choice with regard to pain relief options in labor. So, for women seeking midwifery care, the desire to have a natural birth is not a requirement.

“I would absolutely recommend this experience,” Juliana says. “Knowing that Kettering Health Network provides midwifery services is such a relief because it allows you to create a natural birth plan to have the labor experience you desire, while still being in the safety of the hospital.”

Learn more about how midwives support women throughout their lives by visiting us online at ketteringhealth.org/midwives.