A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to get to know the Amish midwife here in the area where I've been in the US. It was a pleasure talking with Emma and finding out more about how Amish women give birth to their children.
Since Emma wants to keep learning I ordered the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin as a little memory of our nice visit and I gave it to her last week.
Because of the Amish not having electricity and therefore no telephone/internet, I drove to her farm without letting her know ahead of time. A woman was at her's for a prenatal check-up. I was very happy that they had me join!!
The mother now is in week 28 and is expecting her 8th child. Emma has been her midwife for the last 4 children.
Emma used her hands to study the baby's position. Then she checked the heartbeat with a fetoscope (stethoscope for midwives) - she could hear it very well. Emma checks the heartbeat also with her "Doppler". It's a device that uses ultrasound to hear the heartbeat. The baby immediately kicked fairly and kept moving away (ultrasound is extremely loud for babies).
At the end she took her iron and wrote everything down.
After the visit at Emma's I drove to the nearby hospital. They did tell me beforehand that they are unable to show me their maternity unit, but... I still gave it a try... 😉
I had a short talk with the nurse. She even gave me a minitour of their unit.
The cesarean rate of this hospital is much higher than the one of the hospital in the neighbour county which I was allowed to visit a few weeks ago. Unfortunately they also don't hire midwives. When women are in labor they are taken care of nurses. It's a doctor that delivers the baby.
My stay here in the US is now over. I was able to gain a lot of experience...
Getting to know my lovely doula colleague Jessica Zehr was such a joy. She is an amazing woman both in her professional and personal life and I'm wishing her the very best from all my heart.
The meeting with wonderful midwife Joyce Wilder was so nice and inspiring. She dropped the cesarean rate in the hospital where she is practicing to 18 % and she wants to set up a birth center before she retires.
I was able to visit the maternity units of 2 hospitals here in the area and I got insight in how differently pregnancy, birth and postpartum are handled.
I've seen a cesarean birth in another hospital and I joined a prenatal check-up in the hospital.
And getting to know the Amish midwife Emma as well as - unexpectedly - seeing a prenatal check-up of one of her women was very interesting and a great pleasure.
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