Specialist midwife offers comfortable home delivery



MASERU – While few expectant mothers prefer home delivery, an independent midwife operating under the All clinic Health Facility, Raphael Tlali, says they are ready to give Basotho home birth service as it saves time and provides privacy. Home delivery is a birth that takes place in a home setting rather than a hospital or birthing centre, with the assistance of a qualified healthcare provider, during labour and delivery.

Tlali says they plan to give mothers the comfort they deserve, having considered that there are still women who give birth at home without professional assistance. Those that prefer to deliver at home, he says, do so due to the misconceptions that they have about deliveries at the health facilities and end up not going there.

Tlali says their services are meant to ensure that those who prefer to deliver at home do so under the watch of professionals.  He notes that traditionally, women used to give birth at home, assisted by unskilled individuals, without proper equipment that could protect both the expecting mother and the child.

He says theirs is the same delivery that can be conducted both at home and at the clinic, because now they will need everything that is needed during labour. “This means we give you all the services in the comfort of your home, provided we are convinced that your home meets all the needed conditions for safe delivery,” he says.

In order to successfully conduct a home delivery, Tlali says all they need is electricity, running water with a clear sewage line, and enough private space to perform the services.  He says they also inform all family members that the mother is going to give birth at home, so consent forms have to be filled.

The home delivery, he says, will also be an opportunity for men who wish to be present during their spouse’s delivery because, often times, men are not allowed in public facilities due to having a lot of women in the facility.  “Home birth allows such men to be part of and sometimes give emotional support to their partners,” he also says.

Tlali explains that before agreeing to offer the services, they conduct a home assessment to see if the whole family is ready to have a home birth near them. There are reservations, however. For instance, first-time mothers who experience childbirth and those with high blood pressure and other complications cannot deliver at home.

Tlali also advises that with home birth comes a lot of benefits, which include feeling ownership of the delivery process and the mother becoming part of the process. Apart from that, he says they get extra care than those who went to the hospital, noting that they even get the vaccines in the comfort of their homes and continuity of care for two days.

“The first care is intensive care, where there is a midwife for six hours, ensuring that there are no complications or bleedings.  “Then, after six hours, the midwife can leave, but the mother still owns the midwife distantly, where they can still communicate through calls to perform and support the mother,” Tlali explains.

Just like any other delivery, he points out that there may be challenges, and these may be that not everyone meets the criteria of home birth. The other challenge, he says, is performance anxiety, where the mother would feel like she would not perform well because she is being assisted at a familiar place, and she feels like she would be safe if she were to be assisted at the clinic or hospital.

Nthabiseng Mapeshoane, a woman who recently gave birth at home, assisted by unskilled people because her home is far from the facility, says this is a good move, especially looking at the rate of home deliveries in Lesotho, which are very high in rural areas and conducted by untrained people.

She thinks it is a good initiative to help expectant mothers in a relaxed environment, saying that despite conducting deliveries at home and encouraging women to give birth at the clinic under skilled care, many women still give birth at home.

“Choosing to give birth in the familiar, comfortable space you live in ensures you have the privacy and support that allows your body to labour efficiently and without being disturbed,” Mapeshoane adds.

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