Project/blog link:Risk Assessment in Midwife-Managed Care BASIS Advisor: Alicia Vaughan Internship location: Flagstaff Birth and Women's Center Onsite Mentor: Paula Pelletier-Butler, LM, MSM, Co-Owner, LM, MSM
Birth, the miracle of life, has some mixed reviews. Some have called it painful, excruciating, wonderful, joyous, worthwhile, the worst experience, or as my own mother would say, the best experience. Although each experience is incredibly personal, I think everyone can agree that safety is paramount in childbirth. My own aspiration is to be an obstetrician, so in my project, I will learn how dedicated health care professionals make pregnancy, labor, and delivery as safe as possible. At the Flagstaff Birth and Women’s Center (FBWC), I will learn how the midwives there assess and deal with risks in pregnancy. Risk assessment includes everything from learning your medical history to amniotic fluid tests. This is especially important in midwives’ practice, because they typically only handle low-risk pregnancies. While midwives are skilled at various means of risk-management, about 12% of their clients end up having their babies at the hospital instead of the birthing center, because the midwives detect a risk and determine that a hospital birth would be safer. I am interested in learning about all the variables contributing to how this important decision is made through my internship at FBWC. Beyond the literature, my exposure to the practice of midwifery will provide the opportunity for case studies in how risk is assessed and treated.