The Center for Holistic Birth: An Organized Step Back in Time When Birthing Worked


Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

When pregnancy is allowed to progress naturally, most of the time a woman will give birth to her newborn with no complications. However, in the current healthcare climate, a woman is faced with many interventions during pregnancy that are changing the climate of birth in many institutions across the country. Medical professionals order inductions and other interventions, patients do not know what these inductions and interventions are for, and nurses are caught in the middle. How do we change the current climate?

Proposed Change

To incorporate an evidence-based holistic approach to the healthcare climate by using Jean Watson's Nursing Theory to affect patients and remind them of their innate abilities.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

After meeting with departments throughout the institution to discuss the foundation of the program, referrals from various sources started. Patients will meet with the certified nurse-midwife (CNM) multiple times during their pregnancies depending on their gestations, free of cost. They discuss resources for education and formulate a birth path. Meetings also cover different birthing options and practices and allow patients to explore what is right for them. After the last meeting before delivery, the CNM writes up a summation of the meetings that took place with the patient and attaches a copy of the patient's birth path. This information is attached to the patient's prenatal chart, which allows staff the opportunity to view it at the time of the patient's admission.

Implications for Nursing Practice

Holistic birth is not equated with natural birth; however, as the program has grown it has become increasingly apparent that women want to experience the most they can from their deliveries, regardless of what drew them to the program initially. The epidural and cesarean delivery rates are significantly lower in the program, and another important trend has risen to the surface. Women who participate in this program feel empowered to ask questions, challenge the status quo, and be active participants in the decisions regarding their births. All of this has culminated into a satisfying, rewarding experience, regardless of the outcome.