Low-risk care does not mean “no medical care.”
In fact, quite the opposite tends to be true: Low-risk care means that both mom and baby are healthy, and there isn’t any medical condition from having a healthy birth and delivery. During prenatal appointments, low-risk care providers will go over topics to keep the pregnancy at low risk.
This includes but is not limited to:
-emotional and mental well-being
-approaches to labor (water birth, breathing techniques while in labor, different labor positions)
-creating a birth plan (link to ebook?)
-birthing classes options
-ways to manage labor pain
During active labor, most care professionals who specialize in low-risk childbirth will sit in the room to assess risk and settle the nervous system. This is crucial as a third of births today in hospitals result in a cesarean.*
“For any intervention or technology, we [the doctors] should think about whether it’s appropriate and needed in this particular patient, and what the alternatives are,” author Jeffrey Ecker, MD, chief of OB-GYN at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says. “Then we have a conversation with patients about the options so we can together choose a path that matches their values.”*
GraceFull Birthing is a CABC accredited birthing center, and through the process of becoming accredited, we added a risk assessment at every prenatal visit, throughout the labor and during the 6 weeks of postpartum appointments.
Each pregnant person gets a number assigned to them so we can take a quantitative idea and make it qualitative:
0: No risk.
1: Potential risk factor to be noted on the chart, discussed with the patient, and have an appropriate follow-up.
2: Consultation with a physician regarding eligibility.
3: Non-Eligible for care in the birth center. The patient must be referred to a physician or Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) for hospital delivery.
Low risk is not an either /or way of birthing. At GraceFull, we begin by gathering intelligent information and assessing the patient’s medical and trauma history. Starting here allows us to observe the person as an individual — their experiences, preferences, and boundaries — and keep low-risk mamas safe. Being CABC accredited also means that systems are in place. Policies, procedures, risk enhancement protocols allow us to provide the best evidence-based maternity care for you.
We continuously work to monitor, identify what level of risk you are at any time in your pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. Working collaboratively with hospitals is how out of hospital care providers all over the world keep their families as safe as possible.
There is a common misconception that women receive this level of care in most pregnancy and birthing situations. But they don’t. Even for OBs and Midwives who want to deliver this level of care, the system around them makes it nearly impossible for them to do so.
Yeah, I know that is quite a lot to take in all at once, which is why you want someone who is a specialist in low-risk pregnancy who takes the time to see you as an individual, knows your history, and is really good at critical thinking! We have an in-house concierge who is dedicated to helping you create a birth plan, down to the details so that you can focus on the magical journey of birthing. Set up a call to speak with our Admin Director today.
Photo by // @paulinetakesphotos