Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Are gloves always necessary during birth?

As I have nothing to hide about my practice and am confident in what I do and the care I give, I agreed to take part in HOME BIRTH DIARIES which, in my opinion, is the best woman centred and positive programme about pregnancy and birth on the telly....

In comparison to it I hang my head in shame at some birth programs, especially ones that take pride in admitting they are demonstrating conveyor belt like care and that one born every program is more like one extracted every minute. However we wont go there in too much detail but I may just remind you of those type of birth shows after I have had my say....

Back to Home Birth Diaries and in particular the episode showing Sadie, a women from Rochester having her 2nd baby. The birth in that episode is clear, close up and beautiful. A baby being born just how it should be. I also happen to know that it ranks as one of Discovery Health's and viewers favorites yet I have come in for criticism from some viewers, those of which are midwives themselves. I am used to criticism, being an independent midwife, and usually do not rise to it for the reasons I began this blog with, but this particular criticism has been mentioned to me twice in a few days so I thought I would address it.

Why do health professionals wear gloves?
We do so to protect ourselves and our clients against infections and blood born diseases.

I do not, however wear gloves to catch babies......shock horror ? please let me explain.

I do not "deliver" babies or have hands on other than if help is needed or if I have to be invasive in any way. Should that type of assistance be needed I always wear gloves, if I need to perform vaginal examinations I wear gloves, during the third stage of labour I wear gloves, to clear up any mess of any description I wear gloves BUT if a baby is just falling into my hands, as in Sadies birth, I take OFF my gloves just prior to catching the baby. A healthy, clean (maybe a bit wet) baby falls into my hands....what is the difference than when I hold the baby an hour later?

There is no risk AT ALL to a mother, baby or myself if my hands are clean, not cut or have any abrasions and I am aware of both the mother and my own HIV and Hepatitis B status. There is more chance of the latex gloves causing an allergic reaction to the baby. Furthermore how nice that baby is welcomed into the warm, clean hands of, if it cant be its own mother or father, a midwife who so well known to the family that she feels part OF the family.

Please my fellow colleagues and critics do not compare what I do to with what goes on in hospitals where strangers care for strangers, unless you are comparing my outcomes to those outcomes....in 13 years of practicing the way I do I have caused or caught no infections. My clients only have the ones they left hospitals with....My way of working is called individualised care...try it you may like it.

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