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Transfers: Why do they happen?


To do a delivery outside of a hospital should be the norm for low-risk women. This has always been the case going as far back in history as we can date. As we modernized birth, improved our skills and methods and now have become licensed by the states we practice in, we now have requirements and rules that allow Midwives to keep out of hospital birth as the safest for mom.

With this modernization, we have places established for emergencies; hospitals.



This means there are now certain rules and laws that prohibit us from attending a high-risk birth outside of the hospital. If there are risk factors either in pregnancy or that spontaneously present in labor it is our job as the professional, to be alerted and take the appropriate steps to get mom and baby to the best place possible to care for a high risk situation.

Transfers are never fun for the family or anyone involved. It's definitely not what the Midwife was hoping for. However, we are always grateful that our training & skills prepares us to pick up red flags, address them with the proper steps for safety and then implement the transfer plan as needed. These steps and the knowledge are what gives us our beautiful births and good outcomes. The emotional roller coaster after birth is always difficult for everyone to process which is normal.



What can you do to help you process if a transfer happens to you? Debrief. Always talk to your birth team who was present at the birth. Since they were there and know all the details, it's best to discuss questions, concerns and anything you need to with them. Sometimes the receiving team of the transfer, who only gets the tail end of the situation, or outsiders who weren't there may not be the best people to process such an emotional event. Not for any reason but because they may not know the whole story.

It's not always easy to have your plan switched. Knowing that your team is always looking out for your safety and well-being to help you get the best outcome is the Midwife's overall goal.

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