Mammals giving birth are just very vulnerable. They cannot run fast should they get attacked. Hence in mammals a successful birth never lasts longer than a few hours A laboring woman needs a feeling of quietude, comfort, confidence and security. Where do you feel safe? Where do you feel that you are being watched over? During labour you can’t do it yourself. You have to have someone you can trust. Who you can count on to make sure that you and your baby are kept safe . Who do you, beside your partner, trust enough?
A midwife is trained to Support and Monitor. Traditionally it was the task of the midwife to sit with the birthing woman. The woman knew her midwife and knew she could trust her. Your body does the work and your midwife is watching over you and the baby. When in labor, you don’t need to keep up with your surroundings.
As previously explained: the system in most countries is not really designed for this. During pregnancy you usually see more than two midwives and most of the time you don’t know who will be on call during your labor. In hospitals kind, but till then unknown L&D nurses usually support women, and quite often they have to divide their attention over more than two rooms. Not to mention changes of shift. All this can add to a feeling of “dehumanization” and will not help to achieve a positive birth experience.
A doula is definitely an option to consider during childbirth. With her experience and training she provides personal care and comfort. She will stay with you the whole time. Only the additional costs are often a problem. Most insurance companies do not reimburse these costs.
As you can see it is important to discuss things with your midwives or ob during pregnancy. Ask what you can expect during labor from them. Will they stay with you the entire time?
What does it depend on? Ob’s and midwives are expected to work Evidence Based. Evidence Based means what research has shown to be the best way to treat someone with a certain condition or illness.
There is ample evidence that shows the importance and positive effects of continuous support during labor by one person. Preferably a woman who is not a family member. The midwife is cut out for this.
Ask your healthcare insurance company if there are midwives in your area who provide one-on-one care during labour and birth and whose services they will reimburse.