I'm looking for women's personal experiences with midwives. Please contribute if you can!

I'm working on a series of blog posts for my blog: www.MamasAndBabies.blogspot.com about the midwifery model of care. I'm looking for input from women about their experiences with doctors and midwives. Even if your experience has been from an outside perspective (friend or family of the mother, doula, etc.) I would love to hear from you. It would be particularly helpful if you've had experiences with both doctors and midwives, but any input will be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you can contribute!

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I had the same midwife for both of my sons births, one in hospital, one at home. I would be happy to give you any information on her and my experiences with her, she was a wonderful midwife and friend.
Emily, do you think you could write about your experiences with her and how you feel about them? I don't have specific requests, and I can use whatever you want to share. Thank you so much!
I had a midwife with my daughter 3 months ago. It was so great! She had such a warm calm nature about herself and it was almost like she could calm you down just by being in the same room, which we know helps when your in labor to be calm.
Even though my husband and I went through Bradley Classes she was able to recognize when I was either pushing before I was ready or was also able to help me calm down if I couldn't control myself.
She never acted impatient or upset because my labor took a long time. Total Labor time 21 hrs. and I pushed for 3 hrs.
One great thing with having a midwife is that you are in your own home.
With our birth my husband was able to catch our daughter. Then he handed her over to me. We were the only people who held our daughter for her first hrs. It was wonderful and such a blessing. He got to cut the cord while she was in my arms.
It was beautiful experience that I will never forget. I plan on using her again for our next child if she is still a midwife.
Thank you Rebekah :) Can I use your photo to put with your story? I'll put this in the scheduled posts, and it will probably be published around mid-late February. I'm sorry I don't have an exact date yet. I'm still editing and working on them.
Cherylyn-I wanted to add also, that one of the hospital midwifes I worked with asked dad if he wanted to catch. He did and it was a neat experience. The mom had an epidural, but the midwife was still working to keep that connection together. I had just never done that before and I know the family really appreciated it.
Thank you! I'll add it in :)
Rachel, do you have a photo I can put in with it?
I wish...it was cool! Especially to see that at the hospital. It was a neat birth altogether that combined both the medical epidural/pitocin, but also allowing the mother to experience other aspects of her birth. I credit that to the midwife.
Oh, any photo of your or one of your babies would be fine. I can even throw in a generic photo I have on my computer, but I thought I'd check with you first :)
I love my midwife who provided care during my last pregnancy during home visits. My body was faster than she was so I caught my own baby, but she was there for the placenta.

That being said, it is very important for women to understand that their midwife may not be able to make it in time for a planned homebirth, which could be deadly for the baby and the mother. My experience taught me that it would be best to choose a midwife who works within a group practice so that the odds are that someone will be able to get there in time for the L&D. This was not an option for me as the only midwife who would attend a HBAC in my area is the one that I hired. I didn't feel comfy planning a hospital VBAC, but I had confidence that if there was a reason to transfer that my midwife would be able to provide continuity of care. As it turned out, if I had transfered to hospital I would have been surrounded by strangers with a low VBAC rate so I stuck it out at home. I was blessed that I was in the majority of women who are able to birth without any intervention, but am acutely aware that are lucky that there were no problems.

Having a midwife is not a silver bullet, and although every woman deserves her choice of care provider, the fact is that some women will always be safer in the care of an OB. I have learned that autonomy of choice is sacred, and that choosing a cesarean in just as valid as choosing a UC. It's just the risks that are skewed. My personal experience with midwifery care drove home the fact that it is more important to support whatever choice that the mother makes than to try and convince her that one way is better than the other based on my personal opinion.

Trying to talk my preggo SIL out of her planned ERC, for instance, would cause her a lot of unnecessary stress and might cause a rift in the family. She had her 1st planned cs because of her narrow hips and the fact that she is of Asian decent and my brother is Anglo, and her ERC is based on those risk factors and not because of a VBAC ban. I personally think that she could VBAC, but it's not my call, and until she asks for my opinion I will keep the fact that ligaments stretch during birth to myself. I'm off subject now, and to get back on I'll end with, "Midwives have taught me to support women and their choices period."
Thank you Susan :) My midwife has taught me the same thing. I may edit some comments for relevance, but I'll do my best to keep the integrity of the post.
Hi, sorry it took so long to get this to you. Christmas....

With my first son, I was twenty weeks pregnant before I found a homebirth midwife, an LM educated in Washington State. Previously, I had been seeing a group of midwives and OB's who were affiliated with my local hospitals birth center. Every time I went there, I was weighed, measured, and told my BP was too high. It would take several checks before it would come down. The first time I had an appointment with my MW, she had me weigh myself in the bathroom down the hall, then trusted me to tell her, and my BP was lower than it had been my whole pregnancy. I knew I'd found "the one."

She was great during my labor. I had several family members there, but she didn't mind at all. When my water broke at 10 cm it was stained with meconium and my boys heart rate dropped significantly. We ended up transferring to the hospital. Her assistant rode in the back of her subaru with me, assuring me it would be fine.

My MW ended up seamlessly taking over the role of doula once we got to the room. She would give suggestions for positions to push, and thought that having me push with every other contraction would help with the baby's HB. It helped immensely. She even whispered in my ear that the OB was looking at using the vacuum and to make my pushes really count. I can't imagine pushing for 2 1/2 hours without her there. After my Samuel was born, she stayed and helped me breastfeed. She and her assistants went back to my house with my mom and sisters and cleaned up my house.

With my second son, we were able to rent a birth tub through her, though we didn't use it much. She had some great herbal remedies for when my blood pressure began to creep up a bit. She was fabulous during my labor when I had a OP baby, and my labor dragged on and on. I felt like I had put my whole self in her hands. And she took wonderful care of me. Sometimes people talk about not relying on anything but their own bodies during labor, but I never feel like that, I feel like I need some one with me who knows what they are doing, because I'm 22 and don't know anything but what I've read in books!

When Matthew was born, I was standing up against the headboard of my bed and birthed his big body over an intact perineum. He came out and was floppy and white. My MW was amazing, immediately called 911 and began administering oxygen. His heart rate was strong and steady but he was reluctant to come around. I'd almost say it was like he passed out as he was born. He perked up just as they arrived. She had it under control, even when the EMT's arrived and completely ignored her authority and essentially "stole" my perfectly healthy son and transported him to the ER for an hour. The next day she went and gave them a lecture on home birth and her role versus theirs. She was awesome.

She was a great mixture of professional and warm. She was like a doctor, in the way that she was full of information and had such a direct and strong way about her, but she was a midwife at heart, warm and willing to be leaned on.

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