midwife helps moms give birth at home

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On Great Plain Avenue ... a white placard with a cartoon stork on it announced the birth of Mary and George Georgilas’ daughter, Lila Elisabeth, who was born a week earlier within yards of that sign — inside the family’s home.

“It was peaceful, magical, wonderful,” said Mary Georgilas, describing her daughter’s birth at the home.

The couple was able to experience a natural, at-home birth thanks to Nancy Wainer, a longtime midwife who coincidentally lives just up the street from Mary and George Georgilas.

Wainer operates Birth Day Midwifery from her Great Plain Terrace home. She has been a midwife for about 15 years, and has been on her own for about 15 years ...

... Wainer began down the path of midwifery and conducting natural births in homes after she decided to give birth to her third child at her home. She preferred the experience to the hospital births of her two older children.

“For most women, being with a familiar care provider, it’s better being in their own environment without technological interferences,” ...

... Wainer limits herself to about 35 to 40 births due to amount of attention she feels each mother-to-be needs.

“We get to know the mothers very well,” said Wainer, who has assisted in an estimated 1,400 to 1,500 births during her career. “Many women had their first births at other places and in seven minutes, they see several different people. Mothers get to know who their midwives are, and the birth becomes a loving, caring event.”

Wainer noted she prescreens the mothers to make sure they are healthy enough for a home birth. If she feels they would need special medical attention, she refers them to hospitals. And if a woman does experience complications during childbirth, Wainer would immediately send her to the hospital for treatment. But she said the vast majority of complications can be avoided if precautions are taken during the pregnancy.

“Almost all emergencies are precipitated from a situation that needed to be addressed before the childbirth,” Wainer said. “If it escalates into a complication, we won’t let it escalate to an emergency.”

... “From the very beginning, we wanted to avoid procedures and drugs that could be harmful to the baby,” Ben Ramsey said. “We felt like we didn’t want to fight the system.”

Milly Ramsey described the birth as intense, but doesn’t regret her decision to have the baby naturally and at home.

“I was very comfortable at home,” Ramsey said. “It was intense. ... I felt very supported. I felt like I wasn’t alone … they didn’t take him [the baby] away. He stayed with me.”

... Molly Scanlon ... plans to have a natural, at-home birth with Wainer. Even though she works at a hospital, she said she feels intimidated by the atmosphere and preferred having the birth at home.

“It’s been great; she makes me feel very confident and secure,” Scanlon said. “I felt like there’s a comfort level in being at home.”

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448