What if there's an emergency?
People often ask us, "but what if something goes wrong"?? Or, "what happens in an emergency?" Most people have no idea what Midwives do, how we are trained and what equipment we carry. There are many different roles in the birth world community.
There are OB's, An OB-GYN, or Obstetrician Gynecologist, that diagnose and treat various medical conditions that impact women's health. Their duties include diagnosing and monitoring illnesses and diseases, providing medical support to pregnant women and performing routine check-ups on female patients.
A doula is a professional labor assistant who provides physical and emotional support to you and your partner during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. For instance, a doula might offer: Attention to physical comfort through techniques such as touch and massage and assistance with breathing.
In Florida, Licensed Midwives (LMs) are fully autonomous and provide full-scope maternity care for low-risk people and collaborative care with obstetricians for people with risk factors. In collaboration with a physician they may also provide care for people whose pregnancies require medical supervision. What this means is that we can collaborate with other physicians in the community if a risk factor presents and we can further facilitate a transfer of care to the proper provider or facility if need be.
*photo credit above to Paulina Splechta
Being a licensed Midwife we care for women prenatally, ensuring the safety and health of the birthing person and baby during that time and also during labor, delivery and in the postpartum. We provide education on nutrition, child birth, breastfeeding and even sexual health. Our training is an extensive 3 year program that covers everything from regular college credits classes to pharmacology, basic nursing skills, epidemiology and emergency skills for out of hospital scenarios. These skills are specific to the setting that we work in. These include at home births or in a birth center. We are required to carry the same equipment in both settings. We will always try natural, homeopathic remedies or herbs first if we feel they would work but we have other options when needed. For example; we carry injectable pitocin in the event we need it for a postpartum hemorrhage. We carry oxygen and equipment for neonatal resuscitation. All members of the team must be certified in CPR & NRP in order to attend births. We carry antibiotics for things like being positive for GBS (group B strep) or waters being broken and needing a dose within our protocol. Included with the antibiotics, we carry IV solutions and can administer the medications via IV. We can also administer an IV for hydration too, which can be so helpful when labor is long.
During prenatal care and labor all vitals are monitored on mom and baby to ensure the health and safety of both. Because we monitor so closely if something out of the norm presents we will notice it and be able to take the proper steps to address the issue accordingly. Thankfully, most of our emergency equipment is rarely used because our clients are healthy and considered low risk. In order to stay within our care they must remain that way. However, emergencies can present even in low risk mothers and we are so grateful that we have access to these supplies and that we have the knowledge and skills to use them if needed.