A note from Dr Chandler..
I feel it is important to share with my obstetric patients my personal philosophy on childbirth and care of pregnant women.
I believe obstetrics is called an ‘Art’ for a reason. It is a complicated blend of medicine, midwifery and social health on a background of expectation, hope and a deep seated desire for a certain outcome. Whilst it is true that every woman only wants a positive outcome – healthy mum and healthy baby (and at the end of the day this is the only thing that truly matters) it’s naive to think that Obstetrics is that simple.
Whilst childbirth is an amazing and exciting journey it can be something that many look upon with fear and dread. There is anxiousness about pain, body trauma, outcomes and recovery just to name a few concerns that women may have. There is also social pressure, expectations of birth plans and everybody’s very helpful advice!! And don’t forget the partner – it’s their baby too! I remember having my own children – it was a ‘we’ process, not just ‘me’.
So why am I saying all of this? Because I believe my role as an obstetrician is to guide the process of nature- observe and watch, fine tune if necessary and step in only if necessary. Intervention for interventions sake is wrong. My role is to learn about my patient – what makes her worry and or scared, what she is hoping to achieve, what are her goals? You then build a relationship that lets those fears disappear because, it’s at this point that you have an excellent birthing experience that not only delivers a good outcome but a true happiness with the process itself. And this process will be different for everybody. Some people may want a very natural vaginal delivery without pain relief whilst others for the own very personal reasons will want an elective caesarean. I believe that my role is to understand the individual woman and to do my very best to help her achieve her desired outcome.
Sometimes you need to be a pure obstetrician; use your skills and truly save a life, while other time you just need to sit back and be in awe and marvel at the wonders of Mother Nature. They are each relatively easy – the trick is to know who needs what.
I have been in private practice now for over 12 years. I love delivering babies just as much now as I did when I started – perhaps even more. The miracle of childbirth never dulls and the sound of hearing a baby cry for the first time is still so magical. It is a privileged position to be in and one that I never take for granted.