A Few Facts About Midwives, Midwifery and Home Birth
A 1959 court decision (Bianti vs State of Texas) found midwifery not to be the practice of medicine because "child-birth in not a disease or disorder, but a normal function of womanhood." (Midwifery and the Law, Supplement to Mothering)
Around 12,000 homebirths occur each year in the state of Texas. In the Fort Worth/Dallas area, midwives attend 60-70 births per month.
Services offered by a Midwife include complete prenatal care (including nutrition counseling), care during labor, the birth of your baby, and post-partum care.
The midwife assists only in normal childbirth except in an emergency situation that poses an immediate threat to the life of the mother or newborn. (Texas Department of Health-Responsibilities of a Midwife, 1984)
The midwife advises clients to seek medical care if the client develops signs or symptoms of a complication related to childbirth. (Texas Department of Health-Responsibilities of the Midwife, 1984)
The United States has one of the highest incidences of cesarean section births in the world, and the number is increasing daily. In spite of expensive, sophisticated, ultra-modern equipment and technology, we still rank only 16th or 17th in fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality. (Cohen, Birth: A commentary)
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For The Fathers...
We would like to welcome you as well.
We encourage and support the interest that you show in your partner's pregnancy and in your role as partner and father. While the midwife will be here to watch over the woman's physical progress during pregnancy, we feel that because you are with her day by day, it is largely your presence and support that will help her feel good about herself, the baby and your relationship.
There are many ways in which partners are welcome and are encouraged to participate:
- Many men choose to come with their partners to the childbirth classes which all of our women attend during the last two months of pregnancy. This can be a way for you, as well as your partner, to learn about the growth of the baby, what happens during labor and birth, and exercises that can be done before the birth to make it easier. (You can be a big help with these!) Other topics we cover include breastfeeding, sex during pregnancy, new baby care nutrition and birth control.
- Other fathers may wish to accompany their partners during the prenatal exams. This is a good chance for you to get to know the midwives and their apprentices and to ask questions you may have about your partner or the baby. This is an opportunity for you to see, visit by visit, the growth of your child. (Some fathers also enjoy listening to the baby's heart during these exams.)
- Many fathers who have attended the childbirth classes (and some who have not) are a HUGE help to the woman in labor by encouraging her to relax and breathe correctly and by giving her the emotional support that is so important at this time. Most women feel the father's presence makes the birth easier and more fulfilling. Most fathers feel that seeing their own child born is an exciting and wonderful event-one they don't want to miss. (Some fathers even help to "catch" their own baby.)
Please remember that besides the excitement and joy of having a baby, this is a new and challenging (and sometimes difficult) time for you, your partner and your relationship. Having patience and understanding during those moments when she feels extra tired or a little upset will help both of you to pass though them smoothly.
We also know that this period of changes may bring situations that you are unsure of. While we are primarily working with your partner, we are also concerned about you and welcome any questions you may have about the pregnancy, your partner, your baby and your changing role as a father. If you have any questions or concerns of a personal nature, please feel free to talk with the midwife. Anything you consult us about will be treated confidentially.
Above all, remember that this is a time to enjoy- a time for you and your partner to work together to help bring this new life that you have created into the world.
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