Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Unique Approach to Prenatal Care

"Don't listen to anything the nurses tell you on the birthing tour about what to expect in the hospital - it's all rubbish." 

If I was not already confident that switching to midwifery care for the Twins was the right decision for our family, hearing those words come out of the mouth of our nurse-midwife served to solidify that we'd chosen the right person. A person who would be our champion as we attempted a natural, twin hospital birth, who would instill confidence in me that I was pregnant, not sick-and-needing-medical-intervention, and that unless something weird happened, my body was designed to birth babies and I would be just fine.

This conversation took place among other young, first time moms and dads at our Family Circle group prenatal care meeting - something I had never heard of prior to switching to my current provider, but would highly recommend to anyone who has the option. How this form of prenatal care works is this: all the moms and dads in our group meet on the same evening for their prenatal care (except for ultrasounds and special appointments) and the parents are hands-on involved the whole time. 

As a couple, Devin and I went to each "station" and recorded my blood pressure, my weight and even tested my urine for protein and glucose levels (yeah, that part was a little weird). All the stuff that the nurses normally do as you're waiting to see the doctor - we did ourselves. The coolest part however was when we had "tummy time" - a private meeting with the midwife to raise any personal concerns and to check the babies' heartbeats. But get this - not the midwife, nor the nurse checked the heartbeats - Devin did! They just handed him the doppler and he found and recorded the heartbeats (with a small amount of supervision as the second baby was a little harder to find than the first). It was such a neat experience and I absolutely love this hands-on, laid-back, confidence-building approach to prenatal care. 

After we all made it through the four stations, the couples had "group time" and we asked pregnancy-related questions, shared what's happened in our lives since the last meeting and had some prenatal and birthing education from our midwife instructor. There are about ten other couples in our group and there is a huge amount of diversity among us which I think will be a really neat ministry position to be in as we build relationships with them over the next few months. 

We had such a good time during this class and in addition to the the unique hands-on approach, we were all laughing our heads off at the antics of our hilarious, straight-forward, easy-going, British midwife as she taught the class. She is truly a hoot. 

This is going to be great. 

P.S. This is all taking place at Valley Women for Women should you live in area and be interested in something like this for future pregnancies. Also - it is not only for "young, first-time" parents, that just happens to be what our group is made out of.  


  1. Jen, I'm so excited to hear that you're using "alternative" prenatal care! You probably already know this, but I used a midwife for a hospital birth with Gideon (in the UK) and then a midwife for a homebirth with Kaydence. I'm 100% on board with you - our bodies are designed to do carry and deliver babies. And more than 90% of births should not require ANY intervention. It's a topic that's actually become quite a hot button for me :) Too many moms (and dad's for that matter) are SO under educated and under prepared for their birthing experiences. They don't know and too many don't care to find out. But birthing should be a beautiful and precious experience you look back on with joy - not a painful or traumatic medical procedure. Anyway...I could go on and on forever on the topic. So, that being said, if you are ever interested in hearing my birth stories or if you ever just feel like talking about pregnancy/childbirth stuff, let me know! We can just e-chat or get together for tea sometime :)

  2. Yay! So happy to hear you are going with a midwife and natural birth for your babies!! :) I'm SO glad I did it, and I love the midwife we had for Eli's birth. Doing it without medicine for the pain was SO empowering -- it's wonderful to embrace God's design for our bodies and recognize that, even though the Curse includes increased pain in childbirth, we can do it anyway! :)

  3. Sounds like a party!! That's awesome!!

  4. That sounds so cool! Yay TWINS and mid-wives! Me and two of my siblings were born with mid-wives and my Mom is a HUGe fan!

  5. I've wanted to comment here for a while, and now that the cat is out of the bag, I can!
    I was so excited when I read this!!! God designed our bodies to carry babies and deliver them. When I first read this, we had already had our first appointment at the Birth and Women's Center here in Tucson, and we loved it! Its so nice to learn about your body and different options instead of being told what to do!! So exciting!

    We're due January 3rd, (our 3rd anniversary) by the way =)


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