At 4:48 a.m on Sunday morning, United Hatzalah volunteers in Beit Shemesh were alerted to an emergency via the Health Ministry’s new application. Two volunteers from the women’s unit of the organization as well as one volunteer from the Midwives unit rushed to the scene to assist a woman in active labor.
The incident took place very close to where the responders lived and the first responder was in the door in less than 90 seconds. The women were Elky Grossman and Ruthie Prince, and the Midwife was Allison Rosenbaum.
Another EMT arrived and received an update from dispatch that the ambulance was coming from Jerusalem. After relaying the information to the women, he stepped outside of the room and let the women do their work in assisting the mother.
The woman a well as her husband were a bit panicked as they had hoped to deliver the baby in the hospital, but seeing as the ambulance would not be arriving for a while and that the baby was progressing, the birth needed to happen at home.
Elky Grossman said after the incident: “It was an amazing experience for us as volunteers as well as the mother. From the time we received the call, it took less than five minutes to have three women, professionals in assisting in these incidents at the bedside of the mother including a fully trained midwife. It was a very good thing we were able to arrive so fast because by 5:00 a.m. the baby was born and the ambulance was still 20 minutes away.”
Ruthie Printz “This was the first time that I had been present at a birth from the beginning to the end with a midwife in the field. It was a very moving experience for me to have an entire team of women helping this woman deliver a baby. We worked well together and each person knew their place and what was needed. To be able to be there for this woman in the critical moments that mattered most is something that gave me a great feeling. It’s a great way to start one’s week, even though I got to work today exhausted this morning.”
Allison Rosenbaum who works as a Midwife in Assuta Ashdod and assists in between 10-20 births per week headed the team. Rosenbaum said: “The thing that nicest was that it was a team of women helping the mother. It gave a sense of calm to the mother that we were able to be there and help her. My main goal is to make sure that the babies and mothers are okay and healthy. Today’s birth was fairly straightforward and we were happy to be there to assist especially as it took so long for the ambulance to arrive.
Rosenbaum is very experienced in the field of emergency births at home. In her 16 years in Beit Shemesh, she has assisted in delivering over 100 babies. “Beit Shemesh is fairly far from any hospital and has a young population who are having babies and many of whom don’t have cars. Often people are reluctant to call an ambulance if the labor is a false alarm because they don’t want to be hit with a bill afterward. Put all of those factors together and you end up with a community that has a lot of home births.” She concluded by making a plea for the construction of a hospital in the city. “Having a hospital in the city would solve a lot of problems that arise and it could certainly benefit the people of this city.”
Gitty Beer head of United Hatzalah’s Women’s Unit was thrilled with the news when she woke up this morning. “It is precisely for situations like this that the women’s unit and the Midwives Unit was formed. We need women helping women in these instances. It makes the patient much more comfortable and patient care is the highest priority of any emergency medical service. Our women were able to assist the mother with their professionalism and compassion that each of them brings to the job long before the ambulance arrived and that made all the difference.”
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