I am joining the writing community, Five Minute Friday, today. We write for five minutes (or sometimes a little more). The prompt today is: ADAPT
It was a decision I came to after much thought, choosing to work with physicians and midwives that attended home birth. I had worked in the hospital for many years.
I continued to work in the hospital labor/delivery unit on a per diem basis, while taking weekend call for the home birth group. Nurse colleagues in the hospital who knew about my second job warned me to keep quiet. Don’t tell any of the doctors.
There is a big divide and limited communication between hospital based birth attendants and home birth attendants. Home birth practitioners are reluctant to transfer patients to the hospital until absolutely necessary. Hospital staff only see the home birth patients that are in crisis. They don’t see the healthy births that take place at home.
I learned so much attending labor patients in their home. I carried supplies that might be needed (IV fluids, oxygen), and arrived at the home when a woman was in early labor. I assessed her and encouraged her to rest in early labor. As labor progressed I helped her with positions changes, suggested a warm shower and offered massage. I made sure she stayed hydrated and nourished.
It was so much easier for a woman to work with labor in her home. (I had taught Lamaze classes, but rarely saw such focus and ability to cope with labor in the hospital setting.)
It was my job to notify the doctor of any problems, and to update him on the progress of labor(so that he/she would arrive in time) . Of course, sometimes a woman needed the interventions available in the hospital. Sometimes I urged the doctor to transfer the patient. A couple of times I rode to the hospital with a labor patient needing intervention.
Hospital staff and home birth practitioners could benefit from switching places. They could learn skills from each other and develop better communication.
As I worked with a foot in both settings, I tried to adapt what I had learned in the home to the hospital setting. The home setting had given me new perspectives on birth.