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. 

 

Smita Eirgu heard about an institute in Jharkand that was training health workers. She wanted to become a nurse, but was concerned about finances so she was happy to hear that this training was free. In 2008, she moved from Assam to Jharkand for two years of midwifery training from the Spring of Joy institute. The training completely changed Smita’s perspective and now birth work has become her passion. She worked at the Healthy Mother Birthing Center in Hyderabad for 9 months then returned to Ranchi to work as the midwife in charge at Santevita Hospital. There are 10 midwives at Santevita and they work in collaboration with doctors to support mothers in natural childbirth. Smita is also a certified Childbirth Educator and conducts antenatal classes.
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