Keeping it Eco Friendly
Part of the beauty of midwifery is the philosophy of keeping things simple. To not interfere with the course of nature unless there is reason. To treat the laboring client, her baby, her body, her surroundings, and her psyche with gentleness. This is born out of a love for nature, and that love for nature is what drives many clients to seek out midwifery care. We cannot say we respect the natural process and at the same time create unnecessary waste. We cannot say we respect the natural process while we pollute the air and the earth.
In a healthcare setting, certain things have to be disposable. We simply can't take a chance with bloodborne pathogens. But as much as possible, I like to keep things earth friendly. I use washable linens in my exam room instead of paper. It is more comfortable for my clients and the low volume of my practice allows me the luxury. I use eco-friendly cleaning products for routine cleaning, and unscented, hypo-allergenic laundry detergent. I buy recycled printer paper and recycle all paper waste.
In the birth setting, we use some disposables, such as absorbent pads and gloves, but at the end when I leave, there is never more trash than will fit in a one cubic foot box. When I take out this small box of trash as I leave a birth, it always makes me smile. Someone just had a baby and this is all there is to show for it besides the cute baby in their bed.