Saturday, May 17, 2008

Busy weekend!

Sorry, I've been a slacker. Not much posting is very busy!

I just came home from a How to Start a Birth Center workshop over the weekend. I have mixed feelings about attending this workshop. First off, it was GREAT to be with fellow FSMFN students (this workshop is required for NM 601) and to be able to get to know some of those in classes ahead of me.
Secondly, the workshop was very overwhelming, especially for those of us just starting the program. I don't really think this should be required in the first year of school, perhaps requiring students to take it within the 6 months prior to clinical bound, it would be less overwhelming and feel more pertinent to what they are learning and doing at this point in the program.
I did enjoy getting to tour the two birth centers we visited and talking to the midwives that work at those centers. The CNM's for both of these centers practice at their birth center as well as the local hospitals. One of the centers has been in operation for the last 25 years and serves a very rural area, delivering about 120 babies a year. The midwives in this center also deliver about 70 babies per year in the local hospital. The other center has been operating for 17years and also does about 120 deliveries per year in the center. The CNM's in this center also deliver about 165 babies per year in the local hospital, this center is in a very urban area.
It was very eye-opening to see the struggles that birth centers go through to just keep themselves afloat financially. And how difficult it is to stay open with birth being as political as it is. All it takes is a doctor who decides to not back the center anymore to close it down. These two centers have stayed open very successfully and for such a long time because the community is behind them and they have such a good track record the medical community sees the good they do for the people they serve.
I really like this quote by Ruth Lubic, "Remember, the people you serve are your strength"
Another quote I came away from this workshop with really sums up the way I feel about attending births as a midwife, "Imagine you are a midwife. You're assisting at someone else's birth. Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening rather than what you think ought to happen. When the baby is born, the mothers will rightly say "we did it ourselves"."-Lao Tzu, 5th Century BC

Anyhow, those are just some quick random thoughts about this weekend. I have a big paper due this week and a test. I think next weekend I will pull all this birth center stuff back out, go over it and really try and process my thoughts about the workshop more objectively (right now I am just plain tired!) and do a little soul searching about my own desire to open a birth center. I have always wanted to do as these two centers do and provide women with the option of delivering in the birth center or hospital. I don't think women should be forced to choose a certain type of health care provider based on where they want to give birth, but I'll get into that more at a later time.

Off to snuggle with my Lover and drift off to sleep in his arms

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