In the free dictionary, “a moment of truth” is defined as “a critical or decisive time on which much depends; a crucial moment.” For many women, choosing and experiencing midwifery-led care feels like a “moment of truth.” Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the comments on the South Shore Hospital Babies Facebook page whenever a midwife-related post is added!
As one can imagine, any decision made during the amazing yet vulnerable time of pregnancy can feel critically important to an expecting mom; however, with such an overload of information on the internet, women often struggle to weigh the pros and cons of every choice available to them, including who to choose as their health care provider.
Most people, if they know about midwives at all, are only aware of their role in maternity care and do not realize that midwives provide expert care to women from adolescence to beyond menopause. The American College of Nurse-Midwives is spreading the word about the expansive role of midwives in their campaign, Our Moment of Truth™: A New Understanding of Midwifery Care., a site that presents evidence of women’s healthcare needs (through surveys) and testimonials related to women’s experiences with midwifery care.
According to the Listening to Mothers III landmark report, women prefer to have choices available to them when it comes to their health care. Additionally, an ACNM survey showed a major gap in what women say they want from their health care and what women are actually getting across a spectrum of health needs. Midwives and Obstetricians working together can help fill that gap and offer women more options for their care.
South Shore Hospital celebrates National Midwifery Week and supports choices in maternity care. The SSH midwives are available as hospitalists to offer midwifery care as an option for all laboring women that are low risk. Additionally, the hospital provides other unique alternatives for expecting women, including a tub for hydrotherapy, nitrous oxide for pain relief (coming soon!), and CenteringPregnancy®, a model of group prenatal care that has been shown to improve outcomes for moms and babies.
We hope that you too, will consider getting involved in this important initiative to support choices in maternity care as part of our celebration of National Midwifery Week. You can start by sharing your own moment of truth. What made you realize that midwifery care was right for you? Have you had a positive experience with a midwifery birth? Do you see a midwife for your primary care?
If you have received care from a midwife, please submit your story through a private message at South Shore Hospital Babies. We will post your birth stories this Friday via our blog and on Facebook. To preserve anonymity, no names will be attached to your submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Spread the word so more women can learn about the option of midwifery-led care!