The the fundamentals of the act of giving birth haven’t changed for thousands of years but many changes over the past couple decades have made the process safer, less clinical and more rewarding for Mom and Dad. Physicians and Midwives first job is ensuring the safety of Mom and Baby. We have been able to do this but also make the birth a great experience for Mom (and Dad). I tell my patients that my goal for them is to make the day they give birth is the greatest day of their lives, and it usually is. Hospital births take place in suites that look like hotel rooms. Meriter has beautiful newly remodeled birth suites. Behind the nice cabinetry is all the life saving technology that is sometimes needed to provide a safe birth for Mom and and baby. All of the birth rooms at Meriter have large whirlpool baths which are a fabulous comfort measure during labor. Some of the suites at Meriter are equiped with actual water birth tubs.
In years past hospital births were very cold and clinical. Not anymore. In our practice, Mom and Dad often take part in the birth, even assisting in the actual delivery. It used to be that babies would separated from Mom at birth. Now most often babies go right from the birth canal onto Mom’s chest. Delayed cord clamping, waiting several minutes until the umbilical cord stops pulsing, is a common practice. In a change called the “Gentle Cesarean”, pioneered by our practice at Meriter, the baby goes directly from the womb to Mom’s arms so that she can hold and bond with her baby even as the surgery is completed.
Women are very well informed these days about options for prenatal care and delivery. Probably the biggest change over the past several years is the move to a more collaborative relationship between Doctor or Midwife and patient. There are a lot of ‘right choices’ during pregnancy care and childbirth. Our job is to help our patients find their own right choices. As providers we give our patients our best advice and trust them to be partners in decision making and they almost always make great choices.