I’m a midwife at a natural childbirth clinic located within a hospital. Here is a little glimpse of what a day in my life looks like.
A Busy Day in the Natural Childbirth Clinic
I had just gotten in to work when I heard the other midwives saying, “Oh, we’re going to be busy today!” There were three moms already in labor and, within minutes, a fourth mom reached the clinic, very vocal and clearly in intense labor. I knew it was going to be a busy day, but an exciting one too.
Intermittent Monitoring to Check Baby’s Heart Tones
I took the fourth mom to the labor room and checked her baby’s heart tones. Since she was clearly in active labor, I didn’t use the CTG (cardiotocography), which we typically use when a woman first arrives at the clinic in labor. The CTG can be used to measure the baby’s heart tones and the contractions of the uterus, but using it continously during a low-risk labor is not recommended as it limits the birthing woman’s ability to move freely.
A Thin, Soft, Anterior Cervix, 8 cm Dilated
Seeing how far along in labor this mother appeared, I asked if I could perform an internal exam. Her cervix was around 8 cm dilated, anterior and very thin and soft. The baby’s head was at -1 station. She had bloody show and her contractions were about 2 minutes apart lasting for 45 to 55 seconds.
Half an Hour in the Second Stage (Birthing Stage) of Labor
At around 8:30 AM the mother’s cervix was fully dilated and she started pushing. At exactly 9:00 AM, she birthed her baby girl, who weighed 3.5 kg.
Supported to have a Vaginal Birth after a Very Difficult C-section
The special thing about this mom is that her previous birth 18 months prior to this had ended in a c-section. Just a week before this birth, she had come to our clinic for an antenal class, because she really hoped for a natural birth this time. She said her last experience of birth via c-section was very terrible. She got the natural birth she was hoping for!
Informed women and care providers know that normal gestation lasts until 42 weeks
The second birth I attended that day was of a mother who had also participated in my antenatal class. On this day she was 40 weeks plus 6 days. Through the antenatal class she learned that 42 weeks is a completely normal amount of time for pregnancy to last so she wasn’t worried about her pregnancy being past 40 weeks.
Natural Birth is the Fruit of Patience
She had been leaking amniotic fluid since the previous day. The mom soon birthed her beautiful girl and was so happy she had waited for labor to start on its own. The fruit of her patience was a beautiful, natural birth.