Delivering your bundle of joy. Naturally

New age moms-to-be are increasingly opting for natural delivery with the help of midwives who prepare them physically and psychologically for the parturition process

Published: 09th September 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2017 04:23 PM   |  A+A-

The Sanctum, Natural Birth Center, Hyderabad

Express News Service

If nature has gifted fertility to women, it has also gifted her the power of birthing. All women should have faith in their body’s ability to birth a baby naturally,” believes Nutan Pandit, a pioneer of natural childbirth in India, who runs a Lamaze programme for women in Delhi. But her words may fall flat as over the years birthing has become a medical phenomenon with heavy dependence on medical interventions leading to a rise in C-sections.

The surgical procedure became the preferred birthing choice for the expecting mother and her kin because it helps cut short the painful labour, saves time, and for the doctor and hospitals, it brings extra money. WHO has considered the ideal rate for C-section to be between 10 per cent and 15 per cent, but it’s nearly 85-90 per cent, exactly reverse, in India.

Even though natural birthing nurtures both the baby and mother’s body, it had failed to find many takers, especially among urban women. But there has been a slow and steady growth in the number of new-age moms, who are taking the plunge, sometimes quite literally, in the case of a water birth, and choosing lotus birth, and hypno birth, for a natural experience.

The women who prefer to go the traditional way, with minimal obstetric interventions in the supervision of trained midwives, opt for natural birthing centres instead of hospitals. These centres work on the Midwifery Model of Care. In this model, a professional midwife leads the entire delivery process, and monitors the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle.

Dr Veda Simons, founder of Mumbai-based Daimaas Natural Birth & Wellness Centre, says, “Natural birthing is non-medicalised, non-interventional, vaginal birth. Natural birthing is beneficial for both mother and child. The child gets all the necessary hormones, has higher immunity and the mother recovers faster.”

However, women playing an integral role in maternal healthcare have seen a downfall with the medical fraternity overlooking them. Dr Vijaya Krishnan, who along with her husband Dr Krishnan Sakotai founded The Sanctum, Natural Birth Center in Hyderabad in 2008 and another one in 2016, says, “India lags behind in recognising midwife-led maternal care because of the lack of recognition from the government. Midwife-led maternal care provides the best of all worlds for women. The government must act towards setting up an exclusive midwifery education programme and midwifery colleges to educate and train midwives who can then become one-on-one care providers.”

Bringing midwives to the forefront is a gamble that has paid off for these centres and the application of this women-centered model of care has proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and caesarean section, and to a large extent post-partum depression too.

But to foster natural births as a norm and not exception, Priyanka Idicula, co-founder of Kochi-based Birth Village and a certified professional midwife, says, “We need to work on establishing the midwifery model of care.

There has always been a constant move to push midwives to the corner or to eliminate her from the medical system. It creates a regressive system. We also have a shortage of doctors and it can be addressed by demarcating medical systems in such a way that midwives take care of low-risk healthy women, and obs/gynae care for the high-risk mums.

Awareness, knowledge, and options must be open to all women so that they may be free choose any system/care provider that she desires.” India has a high rate of neonatal mortality, and the midwifery model provides compassionate, supportive and safe childbirth options.


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