The overwhelming euphoria of delivering a baby is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Not only are you bringing a child into the world that is made in your image but you get to physically, emotionally, and intellectually experience an unbelievable life altering chain of events. From the decision to prevent pregnancy to the ‘golden hour’ your life is ever changed.
The experience of childbirth may be a singular event or a repeated cycle but is limited in number. Why not make each experience the best it can be? We plan vacations, parties, weddings and Bar Mitzvah’s to help ensure we get the experience we want why should childbirth be any different. With the right set of friends your party will be a raging success, same goes with your health care providers. I see many patients in consultation who are unhappy with their present choice in Obstetrician because they are either ‘too busy to listen’ or snicker when they discuss their ‘birth preferences’.
Obstetrics in Latin means ‘to stand by.’ Over the past 30 or more years’ physicians have changed that definition to actively manipulate labor to help ‘ensure a fast, safe and pain free experience’ where emergency care is readily available and cesarean sections are an alternative not a last resort. We have seen the cesarean section rate reach an all-time high of over 33% of births. If this was acceptable then there would not be a national push to lower the cesarean section rate with an aim of under 15%. The best way to change this culture is to readdress guidelines and reintroduce midwifery care into modern day practice.
Since I moved to Laguna Beach in 2007 I have had the privileged to consult and supervise several Certified Nurse Midwives. Not only have they impressed me with their skills, compassion and attentiveness to pregnant women but they have helped recreate my views, attitude, and even my skills in the field of obstetrics. I have gained a greater appreciation of the natural progress of labor, the different techniques of coping with natural labor and the patients to wait ‘just a bit longer’ for progress. With this new attitude, my cesarean section rate has cut in half, my patient satisfaction scores have doubled and I feel prouder to be an Obstetrician.
Not only has my attitude towards childbirth changed but so has our nation. New recommendations and guidelines have been published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2017. They have recently expanded their opinion on labor management as well as views on midwifery care. Recently I expanded my practice to include a Certified Nurse Midwife, Allison Molinski. We established the first true Physician/Midwife collaborative practice in Orange County. Patients see both of us during their pregnancy and then get both of us for delivery. It is unique in the sense that you will not find such a comprehensive and collaborative practice anywhere in Orange County not to mention there are very few in the United States. Midwives are low risk obstetric speicalists and physicians are high risk specialists. Together we offer excellent care, an amazing experience with wonderful outcomes, all this to ensure happy new parents.
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