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  • Midwife Gives Tour Of Lying-In Clinic And Shares What Happens During Childbirth

    A lying-in maternity clinic is an option for pregnant women who have a healthy pregnancy.
    by Rachel Perez .
Midwife Gives Tour Of Lying-In Clinic And Shares What Happens During Childbirth
PHOTO BY @mama_the_explorer/Instagram
  • Getting pregnant means finding an obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) and looking for a hospital where you can give birth. Many preggos are also now considering giving birth in a lying-in clinic with a midwife to prevent possible COVID-19 exposure.

    A lying-in clinic is a more affordable option than a hospital, but it's not for everybody. But how is the care of a midwife and childbirth in this setting compares to having an ob-gyn and a hospital birth?

    In one of their vlogs, celebrity moms and sisters Rica Peralejo Bonifacio and Paula Peralejo Fernandez featured a tour of the Marikina Maternity Lying-in Clinic and interviewed Aileen Vinoya, a midwife and a nurse.

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    First, you do not have to choose between a doctor and a midwife, as Rica points out. "Midwives are partners with obstetricians," she stressed.

    During her second pregnancy, Rica had an ob-gyn for her prenatal care. Every time she went to a doctor, Rica made sure to update her midwife. Rica, however, chose to give birth with midwife Vinoya and a doula at home.

    For the record, doctors don't recommend a home birth. But many will agree to women giving birth in a lying-in clinic under a midwife's supervision. Here's why.

    What lying-in maternity clinics can do for pregnant women

    Preggos can have consultations and prenatal checkups in lying-in maternity clinics. During a prenatal check, midwives can take your vital signs, temperature, blood pressure, and weight.

    Midwives also use a fetal doppler monitor to check your baby's heartbeat and use a tape measure to check your baby bump's fundal height. Without an ultrasound, midwives can check if your baby is growing in your womb by your weight and fundal height. (Click here to know what your bump's fundal height means.)

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    The check-up or consultation room in a lying-in clinic.
    screenshot from Rica and Paula/YouTube

    A lying-in clinic also has a labor room that may double as a recovery room and a delivery room. It should also be equipped with essential medication and medical supplies required by the Department of Health (DOH).

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    "Wala lang kaming pang-C-section," Vinoya clarified in the vlog. "Pero lahat ng basic na gamit meron kasi nire-require naman siya ng DOH at ni PhilHealth. Kung accredited naman yung clinic na pinpuntahan ninyo, rest assured na sumusunod sila sa standards," she added.

    Some lying-in clinics partner with diagnostic laboratories to collect specimens in the clinic, so the patient doesn't need to travel to their laboratory. Midwives also have partner ob-gyns and hospitals. They usually refer preggos to them when they are at risk of developing pregnancy complications.

    What a midwife can do for pregnant women

    Vidoya stressed that a midwife is different from a hilot. Midwives finish a four-year course to learn how to help manage healthy, normal pregnancies through prenatal checkups and assist in childbirth. Some can also manage reproductive tract infections.

    Midwives are mother-centric. They help boost pregnant women's confidence. "'Pag wala kang tiwala sa kakayahan mo [na magbuntis at manganak], lagi mo naiisip na may problema," Vinoya shared.



    The lying-in clinic's labor room that also doubles as a recovery room.
    screenshot from Rica and Paula/YouTube


    Aside from physical checks, midwives are also attentive to personal cues, and they can tell, for example, if a pregnant woman is having trouble at home. "Parang psychological care na rin," Paula added. They can also do family planning counseling.

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    Midwives are capable of advising pregnant patients about healthy pregnancy workouts, kegel exercise, and more to prepare you for labor. If your baby is not in a cephalic position (head down) as your due date nears, midwives have techniques to help get your baby into position. They also know how to do perennial massage to help you progress during labor.

    "Pregnancy and birth are not exactly an aberration," Paula said. "You're just pregnant, and you're very healthy," she added. Still, not all pregnancies run smoothly, and in those situations, doctors and hospitals have helped save countless moms and newborns.

    Doctors are more suited to handle anything outside of a healthy pregnancy. They can prescribe medication and perform medical procedures, such as a C-section surgery or an episiotomy, but only when needed. (An episiotomy is not routine; read more about it here.)

    When does a midwife refer a pregnant woman to an ob-gyn?


    A midwife knows her limits. "Every time midwives suspect that something is wrong, they will immediately refer you to a partner doctor," Rica said. This is also why a partnership or good relationship with an ob-gyn is crucial when a pregnant woman decides to have a midwife as her healthcare provider.

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    During prenatal care, a midwife refers a patient to an ob-gyn if she sees signs that may indicate a possible pregnancy complication. Maybe you're not gaining or are gaining too much weight, or your baby bump isn't growing as required, or you may have high blood pressure, etc.

    The lying-in clinic's delivery room with two delivery beds next to each other.
    screenshot from Rica and Paula/YouTube


    During labor, if your baby is breech (not head-down position), a midwife will transfer you to the care of an ob-gyn at a nearby hospital. "Out of scope [ng midwives] na magpaanak ng breech, especially kapag first pregnancy," Vidoya said.

    As for fetal distress or having an emergency CS, there are warning signs that build up to it even if the term suggests it's abrupt. "Hindi naman yun biglaang nangyayari," assured Vidoya.

    Midwives use a partograph to monitor a pregnant woman's active phase of labor. It helps midwives decide when to alert the ob-gyn, and the ob-gyn can also advise the midwife on what she can do. If your labor isn't progressing as it should, midwives will refer you to the ob-gyn and transfer you to the nearby hospital.

    Watch Rica and Paula's full vlog below.

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