Barbara Ben Ami
BSN (Hebrew University)
MA (State University of New York)
My name is Barbara Ben Ami. I was born and raised in Andover, Massachusetts, and immigrated to Israel at age 18 in 1977. I am married to Amnon and the mother of Maydan, Amit and Boaz. I attended Haddassah School of Nursing in Jerusalem, graduating in 1982. I am a practicing registered nurse-midwife since 1987. I worked as a staff midwife, childbirth educator, as well as a research nurse for 20 years in Hadassah Ein Kerem. Over the years as a hospital midwife my main interests were childbirth education and natural childbirth (in the hospital setting). I participated in writing the protocol for natural childbirth at Hadassah Ein Kerem, but eventually became very disenchanted and disappointed in the numerous unnecessary medical interventions, scare tactics, unwarranted inductions and blind belief in the medical model of birth that is ever so present in the hospital.
I developed an interest in homebirth while participating in a natural childbirth course for midwives taught by Michal Bonstein in 1999. During this course I understood that the words “safe” “best” and “hospital” do not necessarily go together. The soaring rates of interventions and Cesarean Sections along with no substantial improvements in perinatal morbidity and mortality encouraged me to examine other options for birth. During the natural childbirth course I was introduced to Ronit Koples who invited me to attend a homebirth. It was an event that dramatically changed my life, how I envisioned birth to be, and how I saw myself and my role as a midwife and childbirth educator. I realized that this was the true midwifery that I had dreamed of and searched for. In homebirth the midwife knows the birthing couple well. They know and trust their midwife. There are numerous prenatal visits at their home. It is respectful, personal, responsible and safe midwifery care. The homebirth I attended was unlike anything that I had experienced in the hospital. It was then that I knew that I had to make a change, but this change took time. After experiencing what birth could be and should be, I knew what I had to do, but it was a very difficult to suddenly and radically change my beliefs and practices concerning birth.
I made my decision after I began to study classical homeopathy with Dr. Haim Rosenthal in 2006. After completing my first year of homeopathy studies I decided that I could no longer work in the hospital setting. I took an absence of leave from the hospital in October of 2007, and never returned. Since then I have been attending homebirths while continuing my study of homeopathy, which I completed in 2010. I have never felt so gratified and fulfilled both professionally and personally.
Is homebirth for me?
Homebirth is a safe option for those women and their partners who are interested in a natural, non-interventive birth with a professional experienced midwife in the comfort and safety of their home. At a home birth the birthing woman is in control, she takes charge of her birth. Home birth is safe for healthy “low risk” women with a healthy term pregnancy when attended by a skilled and experienced midwife (or physician) as documented in various studies recently conducted in Canada, the Netherlands, the USA and in Israel.