Anchorage, Alaska
2400 E 42nd Ave
Anchorage, AK 99508

Why Does Choosing a Midwife Reduce Your Odds of a C-Section? December 10, 2018

Anchorage, Anchorage County
Why Does Choosing a Midwife Reduce Your Odds of a C-Section?, Anchorage, Alaska

Opting to enlist the help of a midwife doesn’t just facilitate a more comfortable labor—it turns out that a midwife can actually reduce your odds of needing a Cesarean section (C-section). This type of birthing procedure is considered major surgery, and requires a much longer recovery period than traditional birth. For mothers-to-be in the area of Anchorage, AK, the natural birthing experts at Geneva Woods Birth Center can provide you with peace of mind knowing you’re in the most capable hands as you give birth to your baby.

Below, the birthing center staff explains why their midwives are able to maintain a 5-7% C-section rate, compared to the local hospital rate of 33%.

How Does a Midwife Reduce Your Chances of Needing a C-Section?

They Avoid Routine Continuous Fetal Monitoring

Fetal monitoring sounds as if it would be a good practice: it refers to the monitoring of your baby’s heart rate during pregnancy and labor. Unfortunately, though, the use of continuous fetal monitoring in low-risk women has proven over the decades to have done nothing to lower the rate of birth-trauma-related Cerebral Palsy, and has been a leading cause in the huge increase in the C-section rate in the US. “Intermittent Ascultation” with a doppler has proven to be an effective way – in low-risk women – to make sure the baby is tolerating labor well, without the high rate of false positive indications of fetal distress that come from using the external and internal continuous fetal monitors.


They’re Patient with Labor 

Physiological birth  (meaning labor and birth that play out with no interventions)  can last quite a while – especially if it’s your first! Midwives are more patient with the length of active labor and pushing than most physicians, allowing more women to avoid C-sections while having still having a safe birth for themselves and baby.This is not to say that midwives don’t have criteria for what constitutes a normal “labor curve,” and use interventions appropriately when a labor is abnormal – it’s just that our curve is more generous, time-wise, and this is a key ingredient to our lower C-section rate, without compromising the safety of mom or baby.

They Won’t Induce Unless They Have To

The midwives will only induce labor after serious consideration and the presence of a medical condition. Induction raises a woman’s chance of needing to deliver via C-section (mainly because it can lower the baby’s heart rate, making it look compromised, and mom’s body may not be ready, and ‘fail to progress’) and puts her at increased risk of a variety of complications, including postpartum hemorrhage. We induce labor for a specific set of medical conditions for which that is the standard of care, but we do not induce labor for reasons that seem to be relatively common among physicians, such as “large babies,” vacation schedules, or ‘prolonged pregnancy’ (42 weeks or more). With regards to the latter, we don’t unless it is the client’s desire and/or there are other compelling medical reasons. It’s important to note that while clients will risk out of the birth center for going past 42 weeks gestation, it doesn’t mean they risk out of our midwives’ care, or that they will be forced to have an induction at the hospital just for reaching that gestation.

Every midwife at Geneva Woods Birth Center has hospital privileges at both local hospitals, and extensive training and experience with both in- and out-of-hospital births, so should you choose to deliver your baby at their facility, you know you’re in the best possible hands for a safe birth that’s as natural as possible. To discuss birthing options with one of their caring team members, call the birth center at (907) 561-2626 or contact them online.

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