Free Documentary Presentations on At-Home Birth Jan. 20 & 27, 2018
By Nicole Staniger, Midwife on Natural Births:
In the past 12 years, I have had the honor of witnessing hundreds of women journey through the childbearing years. As a midwife, I see my calling as walking with women, supporting them through all the challenges of pregnancy, the difficulties of labor, the joys of delivery, and the waves of postpartum. This is not my journey, but theirs. The moment that child is created, a mother is born and she is the expert on her child. I have been trained, through education and experience, to serve as a safety net for mother and child, to be watchful and protective, but as long as a woman stays within the parameters of normal and low-risk, I am simply an attentive guide.
The past century has seen dramatic changes in medicine, many of them life-saving and revolutionary. But often in the excitement of change, past wisdoms are forgotten or laid aside. Prior to 1900, almost all babies were born at home with lay-midwives. For the first half of the 20th century, hospitals were still reserved for treating the sick – which has never included the majority of pregnant women. It has only been in the past 60 years that more women are giving birth in hospitals than at home. This has been a huge blessing for the 15% of women who are high-risk and have complicated deliveries. However, when this shift occurred, something foundational in the mind of society changed. Women began doubting their ability to give birth, doctors started viewing pregnancy as a condition to be treated, and we forgot to respect that childbirth is innate and raw and beautiful.
In the past ten years, we have seen a resurgence of natural births and midwife-attended home births. But more importantly, people are questioning the philosophy that childbirth should be managed by surgeons. Earlier this year, The American College of Gynecology (ACOG) recommended a “hands off” approach to managing low risk births. This means, if you are healthy with no pre-existing/insulin-dependent diabetes or high blood pressure and carry your baby near term (37-42 weeks), the medical recommendation is for you to have a natural delivery without interventions. Considering 85% of pregnancies fall into this category (according to the CDC), this is wonderful news for women (and midwives!). I look forward to being a part of the positive trend towards normalizing pregnancy and childbirth in this country.
Nicole Staniger, CPM, LM, practices midwifery within a 2-hour radius of Lake Almanor, where she provides fertility counseling, prenatal care, home birth, and postpartum care for families. She offers holistic care and counseling to women from puberty through menopause. For more information, visit her website, QuietEarthMidwife.com, email QuietEarthMidwife@gmail.com or call 530-520-8682
*You can also join Nicole for a free showing of the documentary “Why Not Home” at 3pm January 20th at Mt. Lassen Theatre in Chester OR 2pm January 27th at West End Theatre in Quincy.