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Any homebirth midwives...

Last post 07-11-2009 7:03 PM by midwestmama. 14 replies.
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  • 03-21-2009 8:15 AM

    Any homebirth midwives...

    Are there any midwives here who attend homebirths who have never had one themselves? Or any midwives who don't have children at all?

    I ask because I had my daughter in a hospital and don't currently plan on having anymore children (and I don't see myself changing my mind). I'm curious to know if you have anything to say on what it's like to attend a birth like this that you've never personally experienced. (I hope this isn't a silly question. I'm not looking for advice really, just any personal insight or experiences you may have found interesting.)

  • 03-21-2009 1:07 PM In reply to

    • Lou Lou S.
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-05-2009
    • Plymouth, England
    • Posts 2

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    Hi there, don't worry this is not a silly question, but I apologise for my rant. This subject often comes up. I am a dual American/British Citizen currently practicing in England as a Midwife. Here we have the option to work both in hospital and community setting. In my experience with the women I deliver, I often had women ask if I have any children and when I tell them about my two daughters it is almost a relief to them that I too have experienced birth, breastfeeding etc.

    In the defense of those who do not have children I feel their long years training and experience to become a midwife should not be forgotton. After all it is their training/experience which will allow them to identify a normal/abnormal pregnancy and labour which is what will get their women safely through their labour than a midwife's emotional experience of having birthed their own children. I often hear women say how Midwives don't know what they are talking about when it comes to labour because she is not a mother, but a woman who has had 14 children or 2 isn't going to be able to identify early clinical features that we are trained to identify in a labour situation when or if it goes bad. However, I do believe it is good support if your birth companion in any setting has experienced birth themselves but their birth was their own but I feel that is where it ends. You are the one experiencing your birth, yourself. I know who I would rather choose to have as my midwife, a well trained experienced one who can identify signs of a problem during my labour regardless if she has birthed or not. Big Smile Lou Lou x

    It's not easy being squeezy x

  • 03-21-2009 3:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    I completely agree, and I hope my question doesn't sound critical of these midwives at all! I'm just interested in hearing their experience with other people having a problem or not having a problem with this, because I've heard many woman say they wouldn't want a non-mother delivering their child (yet so many of our children are delivered by male OBs). I wonder if I would face any kind of opposition at all since I've never and may never have a completely natural homebirth. I guess I'm not really worried about it, it was just something that popped into my head, and I figured- Why not ask?

  • 03-21-2009 6:04 PM In reply to

    • Lou Lou S.
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-05-2009
    • Plymouth, England
    • Posts 2

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

     Well that is actually a good point. I mean if women are going to go as far to say they don't want a non mother to deliver them, then there could be those who say the same at the mode of delivery a midwife has experienced. For example a midwife who has had a caesarian looking after a woman having a homebirth. Some women look for the wrong qualities in a midwife. I must admit before training as a midwife, when I had my children I was in the same position of wondering if my midwife had children, thinking it would make her a better midwife if she had. But that was my lack of understanding of the real role of a midwife then, now I feel it is irrelevant. Good point though. Lou xBig Smile

    It's not easy being squeezy x

  • 03-23-2009 3:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    I actually think experience can be a bad thing for some.  Not particularly midwives, just people in general.  I know a midwife who basically pushes pain relief (in hospital, not a HB MW) and when i asked her about it she said "look, i've been there, it's agony!  I give the help that's NEEDED" and when i told her my labour genuinely wasn't painful enough for me to want or need drugs she jut scoffed at my assertion and said "there's always one that has to be different".  I had to point out that i didn't design my vagina, uterus or the surrounding nervous system!

    It is well-recognised that an Ob becomes far more likely to section for a specific situation if s/he has experienced the death of an infant patient in her/his care following it - for example always pushing women having what appear to be "big" babies to have a section after losing a baby during a shoulder dystocia.  Midwives are people too, though it is my experience that midwives are more likely to try to process and deal with such things than Obs who continue thinking their thought-patterns are all powered by "experience" in the sense of medical expertise and not ill-founded fear.

    So i am generally interested in whether or not a MW has had kids and what her experiences were like and how she feels about them now, because the worst place to find out that your MW had terrible births and underneath her training actually feels it is a dangerous and painful ordeal is when you're deep in labour and relying on her calm assessment of your situation and belief in your abilities.

    Bec

    Me 32, DH 41, DD 2006, DD 2010, DS 2013
  • 05-20-2009 6:20 PM In reply to

    • LeJoy
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-21-2009
    • Posts 2

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    I have met a few and one of them I didn't even realize didn't have any children until she said she was pregnant and was really excited to finally do what she has been helping other do for all these years.I don't have any children yet , I am a midwifery apprentice.  It has been interesting as far as people asking about my personal experience.  You will most likely run into people who will not want you to be their midwife for a homebirth if you haven't had one yourself.  But luckily they will be in the majority.  It is very frustrating to me when someone doesn't want to work with me because I don't have kids yet especially when 2 of them previously had hospital births with a male doctor.  I have learned to just ignore it and have noticed that midwives who have been practicing for many years don't really get asked that question or people accept their experience as good enough.

  • 05-21-2009 6:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    I think having had a natural birth/ HB helps a lot in many ways, but it's not a prerequisite. like one pp said - even having 14 babies doesn't teach you how to deal with complications. it all depends on the women in question, i think

    Jesus was born unassisted!
  • 06-17-2009 11:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    There are some women that might care about this and they are free to choose another midwife.  However, that doesn't mean that all women will care about this.  Clearly, if personal experience was crucial in choosing a birth attendant there would be no male obstetricians.  It doesn't mean that you can't be a terrific midwife just because you haven't had an identical experience to those that you serve.  In my experience as a doula, I've learned that my personal experiences with birth are really not relevent in supporting the needs and desires of my clients.  

     

    Endre

  • 06-24-2009 7:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    I selected a midwife for one of my pregnancies who I later found out had only a hospital birth. It didn't change my opinion of her care at all. I chose her because she was highly recommended and very well loved by clients. I didn't even think to ask her how she birthed that child and I only asked if she had kids to make small talk. I think you will be fine.

    just a mom and a midwife
  • 06-24-2009 12:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    I had a midwife that was very very good for my last birth. 40 hour labor, she stuck with me through most of it. I have seen her work with other moms and consistently she has shown much knowledge, compassion, love, and patience for both mother and baby. it was only after I had been apprentice with her for a month or so that I found out that she hasn't had children. I would have never guessed if she hadnt told me.  I personally dont think it matters whether or not the midwife has had children or not. In some ways it can make her more patient to let moms who dont need intervention be, as she hasnt had the personal experience of birthing. On the other hand, I have had a midwife caring for me who had a very severe hemorrhage when she had ehr last baby, and she was very very careful to prevent that in me... to the point of giving me pit IM prophylactically. Our own personal experiences will always flavor what we do. That is part of what makes us all so wonderfully diverse and different, different experiences even in very similar experiences. I hope I am makeing sense... :)

    Love and Light, All!

     

  • 07-06-2009 3:50 AM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    I agree that our personal experiences will flavour what we do. Therefore we must be careful as midwives not to think that everybody feels how we felt when we had our babies. E.g. my first baby was born by primary c-section because of suspected IUGR 13 years ago, long before I became a midwife, and it was a real horror story for me. Part of why I became a midwife was to help other women avoid the ordeal I had to go through. But when training and later practicing as a midwife I discovered - surprise, surprise! - that there were women for whom it seriously wasn't a big deal if they had a c-section. Not everybody's the same. Just a few months ago I had baby number 2 - a homebirth as I had deeply wished for. All was fine and I was very happy. However, I was surprised how much labour hurt. I never thought it would hurt that much. Well, not for me in any case! (Hehe...) But hey, it did! Now I can understand women better whose labour is painful. But it would obviously be wrong to think that everybody's labour is painful. After all there are all these tales of painfree, even orgasmic birth! (I'd like to experience that with my next!)

    Well, to answer the original question: Whether or not we have children and whether they were born at home or in hospital, vaginally or by c-section, painfully or pain-free, in a relaxed or a horror scenario, whatever we've experienced, it can only be a very little part of what any one woman might possibly experience. Our personal experience can never give us all possible experiences which women can have. So although our personal experience flavours our work as midwives, it is not the determining factor.

     

    By the way, I know several excellent homebirth midwives, who have either no children or didn't have theirs at home. Also, after having experienced a homebirth myself, I do not think that it has made me better as a midwife than I was before.

     

    Nina Rinkes

    Independent Midwife

    Nina Rinkes, homebirth midwife

    "Life shrinks and expands in relation to one's courage." Anais Nin
  • 07-06-2009 2:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

    Thanks for sharing your experience with me, Dawn! "Really, really easy" sounds good!

    Nina Rinkes, homebirth midwife

    "Life shrinks and expands in relation to one's courage." Anais Nin
  • 07-11-2009 7:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Any homebirth midwives...

     I think for many women, having a hospital birth that does not go the way they hoped is what first interests them in home birth. So I would not be at all surprised to encounter many midwives who started with that in their life. I do think that not having a home birth of you own will influence to a degree your view of home-birth, but how you are trained makes a huge difference here. If your midwifery training is in home birth situations, I think you will quickly gain a bond with that process that will be the prevailing mindset you bring to your own care. If your training is in a lot of out of home situations, I think it will be harder to "bond" with the home birth way.

    Just my 2 cents!

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