Why BirthWise

Why BirthWise

Midwifery care offers the safest birthing options for low risk moms and their babies. We are highly experienced midwives in the community providing home and water birth options.

BirthWise has an impressively low cesarean section rate. This means that if you choose us for your pregnancy and birth care, you have a significant chance of having a natural vaginal birth! A safe birth, AND a joyful experience, the best of all worlds!

Our philosophy and care practices at BirthWise eliminate the unnecessary, and often times unsafe, cascade of interventions that still happens in most hospital deliveries. We know that growing a baby and birthing are innate and amazing processes that healthy women can do with education, information and support. The Cascade of Medical Interventions vs. the BirthWise Ascent to Natural Birth looks like this:

Wisconsin Home Birth

Cascade of Medical Interventions Ascent to a natural birth
Changing into the hospital gown – shifts the balance of power from woman to hospital. It is uncomfortable, cold and she may be concerned about modesty with the open back of the gown not intended for walking around in. Own clothing and comfortable environment – keeps the balance of power neutral. You feel comfortable, safe and relaxed; free to walk and move without having to feel concerned about modesty.
Induction of labor – the #1 reason for births ending in cesarean section, often done because of suspected “big baby”, past the “due date”, or provider or client convenience. Does not increase safety for mom or baby if there was no actual medical need for the induction. Wait for spontaneous labor – the #1 reason for births resulting in a normal vaginal birth. When women go past their anticipated due date, a close assessment of mom’s and baby’s well-being and awaiting spontaneous labor is the safest approach in most instances.
Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) – this type of monitoring keeps the mother immobile in bed. The use of EFM is not evidence-based, and has no effect in improving outcomes for babies. The only effect continuous monitoring has had is that it has increased the cesarean section rate. Intermittent monitoring – allows mom to be in any position or place she desires, including in the shower or birth tub; allows us to monitor the health of baby safely and without disruption. Intermittent monitoring is an evidence-based practice and should be used regularly in all settings where mom is planning a natural birth.
Getting an IV – Iv’s restrict a woman’s mobility and makes it easy to administer fluids and medications that interfere with natural birth. IV’s are uncomfortable and give the impression that a laboring woman is ill or unhealthy. Encouraging drinking and eating – women are encouraged to drink fluids and to nourish their hard working bodies with food while in labor. This keeps energy up, blood sugars normal, helps cope with labor sensations, and helps her body to work efficiently. Mobility is not restricted.
Labor Augmentation with Pitocin – the use of Pitocin makes labor more painful and more difficult for the baby to tolerate. Studies show that Pitocin use may contribute to postpartum hemorrhage and may interrupt bonding with baby, also contributing to postpartum depression. Patience – no arbitrary time limits. Labor will happen in its own time. Every woman and every labor is different and we will encourage the things that keep a woman and her labor strong and healthy throughout this time such as: movement, rest, hydration, nourishment and support.
Pain Relief – because contractions are so unnaturally intense with Pitocin, the mother will often choose to receive an epidural for pain relief. Support – use of water, freedom of movement, massage and continuous support throughout will get a woman through a natural labor.
Restriction of movement – epidurals keep a woman confined to bed for the duration of the labor and birth, literally unable to feel or move her body from the waist down. Freedom of movement – most women will walk, lean, sway, and change positions to attain continued comfort in labor. They are in control, and not restricted by cords, wires or monitors.
Contractions slow down – epidurals tend to slow or stop contractions, resulting in the need for increasing dosages of Pitocin to keep the labor advancing which leads to greater risk of stress to the baby. Labor progresses – when labor starts on its own, in its own timing, and a woman is encouraged to eat, drink, move, listen to her body and no arbitrary time limits are given, labor progresses.
Inability to push – the epidural interferes with the woman’s ability to push effectively and in a timely enough fashion for OB time limits and often leads to a c-section due to “cpd” or “too big of baby”. Women push their babies out – women feel the urge to push and when and how to push on their own. They are able to help in the efforts of pushing their babies out very effectively!
Fetal Distress – reduced blood pressure from the epidural combined with Pitocin induced, unnaturally hard contractions and lack of blood flow to the baby will cause the baby to go into distress. Fetal well-being – the best chance for a baby to stay healthy and strong during labor is to let the process unfold as naturally as possible without medications. All of the medications commonly used in labor have the potential to affect the health of the baby.
Cesarean Section – after having exhausted all the tools at the obstetrician’s disposal, the cesarean section is the only one that remains. (women sometimes say “thank goodness I was in the hospital because my baby was in distress and I needed a cesarean section” not realizing the cascade of interventions that led up to this “need”.) Birth! – a healthy and alert baby is born into his mother’s arms, able to bond and breastfeed. Mom is empowered and alert and in love with all the natural hormones surging through her body. Unmedicated birth reduces risk of postpartum complications and postpartum depression , breastfeeding success increases, and families report increased happiness and satisfaction.