My Philosophy of ChildbirthLenny Sue Tinseth
Natural, non-interventive childbirth is a right of passage for every birthing mother. She should have the availability to obtain this in a non-threatening environment surrounded by unrestricted access to loving and supportive people every time she gives birth. As a midwife and a birthing mother I have a passion to provide such an environment for women and their babies.
A woman has the right to, and deserves, accurate statistical information about birth care practices. They should be described to her with cultural sensitivity as to avoid misunderstandings and to enhance continuity of care, as collaboration with all practitioners and service providers needs to be available and friendly. Unfortunately, due to the state of our health care system today, the lack of collaboration can lead to adverse effects for mother and baby.
There are many routine obstetrical practices that are performed on mothers and babies that are not necessarily based on scientific evidence. Some examples are routine episiotomies and electric fetal heart monitoring. Women need to educate themselves on such procedures and free their minds of the fears that have been impressed on them. Having her support system, including her health care provider, to be able to provide her with non analgesic, anesthetic drugs is critical. A birthing mother needs to be in an environment that does not promote the use of drugs and offers other pain relief measures such as the use of water and unrestricted movement while in labor.
I encourage all mothers and families to touch, hold, talk to and bond immediately following birth. Breastfeeding is so important for maternal and infant well being that I will utilize all our community resources and continued support until we have fully achieved a healthy and peaceful breastfeeding relationship.
I also strive to educate families on the myths and fallacies of nonreligious circumcision of the newborn by sharing statistical information of the risks vs. benefits. For instance, assuming a 2% complication rate, circumcising 1,000 male infants would prevent 9 cases of infant urinary tract infection, but would cause other complications in 20 babies. (The Evidence Basis for the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care – Journal of Parental Education, Vol.16, Supplement 1, winter 2007)
Believing that we have a purposeful design, I am certain our bodies were made to bring forth children without cutting or harmful medications. From the beginning of mankind until today, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” Ecclesiastes 1:9. Humans from all nations and times have, with knowledgeable women to assist them, given birth safely. We have lost so much in America because the creation of institutionalized medical deliveries. With the simultaneous abolishment of knowledgeable skilled midwives, we have had to relearn so much of what was lost at the expense of maternal and infant health.
With that, my hope is that each woman, with proper support from her family, community and caregivers, can give birth in her body’s most suitable time. Sometimes that may be a labor longer than 24 hours (sometimes minutes!) or a birth that takes place two weeks after an estimated due date. Those babies that lie in the womb a little differently (i.e. posterior), may need more time to move down and around to come out. I use relief measures that do no harm to mother or baby and that help both to endure these slow entries into the world. God promises, “He will never leave us or forsake us” Deuteronomy 31:6 and He says “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.
Enduring and feeling labor and birth for a woman and her baby are very important for bonding, breastfeeding, female health, mental health, respiratory strength and immunities for the baby. The birth experience is more valuable than we know or can fully describe. Interventions from mothers being restrained on their backs to, in our country, women no longer being the primary care-givers for pregnant women, have interfered with God’s plan for mother, baby, family and society.
I believe it is each woman’s responsibility and mine to keep the original divine plan in her birth.
I believe God has called me to assist women in searching for and planning for that goal and with support and protection, achieving it. I see myself as a watchman, a lifeguard, as a guide for each individual woman and her unique birth. I am here to help you know when birth becomes a medical condition, what to do in that case, and make a plan. I am here to help you decode the unknown to the best of my knowledge and experience. I ask for God’s guidance and equipping. I believe your experience is yours, given to you for a purpose.
If this is the first step that you have taken toward taking charge of you and your family’s health care, welcome to the journey. I am excited to get to know you and help you along in this enlightening and worthwhile effort.