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Christian Midwife Question - Page 2

post #21 of 40
My mw is very Christian and even considers her homebirth practice a Christian practice. There are crosses on the walls and Bible quotes on her website. Her faith is mentioned several times throughout her bio and in some literature she hands out (ie, the 36 wk home visit can include a blessing, pray time etc and the info she hands out on that includes this). I am not Christian. She asked me at my initial appointment when my religion was and if there was anything she or her birth assistants could do to help me bring my religion into my birthing expirence. I was really shocked at this, in a good way! Not only was she willing to not bring her religion into my pregnancy, but she was willing to walk outside her comfort zone to make sure my religion was upheld. Since there was nothing that really needed to be done by her, I declined. Beyond that, religion has been a total non issue. She's never brought it up since.

Its going to depend on the midwife, but I would hope and expect that professionalism wins out and the mw is respectful.
post #22 of 40
My MW with #2 was christian and quite so, I am an atheist. I don't advertise my beliefs, I didn't realize it was such a large part of her life until our second appointment. I had switched at 30 weeks, so this appointment was like at 34 weeks and there was no one else to switch to. Honestly, it never was an issue. I didn't say anything her her about it and she never made until to me. I later learned from a good friend of mine that my MW would only take on helpers, assistances, that where of her same belief system, and was quite vocal about being christian in the small, local birth community. While I don't share the same beliefs as her, she was able to keep it separate for clients and I have no issues with the care I received.
post #23 of 40
Originally Posted by IxIa View Post
The mw's bio states she's a strong Christian woman and quotes biblical scriptures.
In that case, I'll admit that this would put me off.

My MW with DC was spiritual in some sort of "new-agey" way and I do feel that it got in the way of our relationship. I wouldn't question her more as a Christian but as a woman of faith I would want to know that she was comfortable dealing with different belief systems AND lack of beliefs.

I do think sometimes people with a strong faith have a better time relating to people of other faiths than they do with atheists.

It sounds though like lots of mamas have had great experiences so I would just suggest she talk with the MW about it...at the very least it will be interesting it seems like a great way to get to know her.

Good luck to your friend!
post #24 of 40
I went to a Christian midwife, found that out through the course of my care as I mentioned God or praying (myself being a Christian), I didn't actively seek a Christian midwife. Her faith did not play a role in my care, she never brought it up, only spoke of it if I did first, and I recall her saying that she has prayed audibly for her mamas in labor if they asked her to (again, after I brought up the subject). I'm sure her non Christian clients would never have known she was a Christian other than her kindness (which I'm not saying is exclusive to Christians)....
post #25 of 40
I think that if the midwife has dealt with enough clients she is going to be understanding and you won't notice a difference. In some (not most) Christian families there could be some cultural differences that could possibly come up. I am Christian but my beliefs are not as strict as some. My Christian midwife last time tried to convince me to quit my job and stay home with my baby. This was not feasible at the time. She didn't state it was due to her Christian beliefs but looking back, I think that may have played a role. In Christian households the man of the house may be looked upon to make decisions that in many other modern households they are not. If your midwife is used to dealing with those outside her particular denomination of Christianity, I really don't think you will notice a difference.
post #26 of 40
Just wanted to add something to the idea of a *professional* midwife...

I have a friend who used a Christian mw (friend was Christian too). The mw spent a period of time in the corner praying for my friend instead of calling 911 for a transfer. The baby was not predicted to make it (even by supportive docs at the hospital) and my friend was in bad shape too. (Dystocia followed by retained placental fragments) Luckily everything turned out fine. I have NO issues with praying over that birth, but do it while waiting for the ambulance.

As long as mw has references that show she is prudent in her judgement and doesn't put prayer over safety nets, I'd say go for it. I would think that most mw's (mine included) who are Christian have non-believer clients. Asking to speak with references who are also non-believers would give you a good idea of how she operates.
post #27 of 40
I have no idea what faith, if any my beloved CNM, Connie had/has. It never came up. Part of being a professional is following a code which has nothing to do with personal faith.... hers or the patient's.
post #28 of 40

All the HB midwives that I met/interviewed with are very Christian.  I am so NOT religious.  But it was not an issue at all for me.  There was a little religious stuff in some of the written materials and informational papers that she gave me each month about my pregnancy.  But they never tried to convert or even discuss religion with me. 


You probably won't find it to be an issue because their focus is on your pregnancy and not on evangalizing you.  My midwives did pray and ask the powers that be for a healthy and safe mother and child when they got there at my birth but that was the biggest extent that religion came into play for me.

post #29 of 40

I had a very Christian MW with my third baby and the only issue I had was she was uncomfortable with my nudity during labor and when I was in my tub. She kept trying to cover my breasts/belly with a towel! But she was an excellent MW. She and her apprentice did say prayers after my  baby was born (I didn't have an issue with that) and all was fine.

Her life was based on scripture and she wore a bun, long home-made dresses and so on. Very prudish and uncomfortable about sexuality but nice.

post #30 of 40

It really depends on the midwife. My midwife is very very Christian. Like, quasi-Quiverfull Christian. I'm a Neo-Pagan Druid. I've known her for years and we're friends on facebook, so everything is/was very out in the open. We disagree on a lot, but have a very respectful relationship, and not once did religion come up in either prenatal care or birth. Heck, I was using a sheela-na-gig as a focus object for awhile and she wasn't even fazed. Everything I know about my midwife's religious beliefs has come up socially. I would have been somewhat put off had she put scripture quotes in papers or declared her practice "Christian." Then again I generally avoid explicitly Christian businesses as I figure they don't want my type around.


post #31 of 40

Wow....it just seems so odd that a mw would be at all uncomfortable with nudity, and seeing any-all female body parts!  Still--you found her an 'excellent mw', in the ways you needed her to be, so that's what really matters.

Originally Posted by greenmama66 View Post

I had a very Christian MW with my third baby and the only issue I had was she was uncomfortable with my nudity during labor and when I was in my tub. She kept trying to cover my breasts/belly with a towel! But she was an excellent MW. She and her apprentice did say prayers after my  baby was born (I didn't have an issue with that) and all was fine.

Her life was based on scripture and she wore a bun, long home-made dresses and so on. Very prudish and uncomfortable about sexuality but nice.

post #32 of 40


Interesting topic.  Everyone's birth story is so unique, and I find myself actually hoping to find a midwife who shares my faith.  I certainly don't require it, but have a feeling it would help bring me comfort during the process.  Since many of you have mentioned discovering the mw was Christian after the fact (aka not advertised as such) I am curious if any may reside in the Greater Vancouver area? (BC, Canada)  Thanks,

post #33 of 40

Who was your midwife?  We are looking for a non-religious mw.  Thanks!

post #34 of 40
Originally Posted by ShwarmaQueen View Post

I'm not a Christian but my MW was. It was never an issue for us.

Ditto this.  Had 3 mws, all 3 christian, never been an issue.  The only way to know though is to ask. 

post #35 of 40

It would really depend on the midwife. To be honest, if they mentioned it once in their bio, I wouldn't care. If they made it the primary focus and included scripture, I would look elsewhere. I just don't think it's professional to heavily advertise your faith. Similarly, if I met a midwife in her home and she dressed conservatively and had religious artwork, I wouldn't be bothered as long as she met my requirements. At the end of the day, I want a midwife who is experienced, comfortable with sexuality and the female body (duh, that's her job) who will be there to assist me in the process of bringing my baby into the world. After experience/knowledge, it all comes down to personality; I'd get along splendidly with an AP-oriented, laid-back Christian midwife while I would not be able to work with a more mainstream, high-stress atheist midwife. 

post #36 of 40
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to give an update:


My friend had her daughter in early February and for reasons other then the midwife's faith, ended up with the hospital based CNM/OB group. Her baby was a sticky transverse and she had a c-section.


Thank you all for your insights, it's much appreciated.

post #37 of 40


Originally Posted by IxIa View Post

I honestly don't mean to be offensive by this question, but I'm curious if other people have experienced this.

A close friend of mine is due in January. She's been seeing a hospital based cnm so far, but really wants to have a homebirth. So, she asked around about midwives and found 4 that serve her area. All but 1 of them are already booked for her due month. The 1 that is available seems very nice, but is very, very Christian. The thing is, my friend is an atheist and she's not sure how her (the midwifes) religious beliefs might come into play during her care. I've never been seen by a Christian midwife, so I'm not sure how it works. Is it even a big deal? Can my friend just tell the midwife her beliefs (if it comes up) and keep differences aside? What if the midwife tries to force her opinion on her? Should she keep looking for a different midwife (if even possible)?

Has anyone gone through this before?


My experience was kind of the opposite - I am a christian who wanted a christian midwife, and all I could find were midwives who were not christian. I felt very conflicted about it, and it caused me to seek out a different midwife by the time my second pregnancy rolled around. 


I think it is proper to mention it to the prospective midwife that she is concerned about how their different beliefs might impact things.  If she has specific concerns, she should mention them upfront.  if the MW is not comfortable with it, it would seem a clear sign to seek out a different care provider.



post #38 of 40


My midwife is a Christian, as are my husband and I, and IIRC it didn't come up until I mentioned dh's band would be playing that weekend which led to a discussion of music (rock and Christian rock) and subsequently church.

Edited by Peppamint - 4/10/11 at 1:14pm
post #39 of 40

Without reading responses here- I'll just put in my 2 cents.


It's good to get any beliefs out onto the table during the initial consultation so that you know that you and your midwife are a good match.

I, personally, am Christian. A Majority of the midwives out here are not. They go with very very Eastern philosophilcal mindframes, and while I believe the natural ways are best, I do not believe in the religious philosophies behind them.


I'm not sure what you mean by 'really really Christian' because... honestly, lots of people do weird things in the name of Christianity. My grandma is Catholic and believes that my kids are doomed for hell if they dont get baptised as babies and they die- however we have never seen anything mentioned in the Bible about baptising babies or about people going to hell if they dont get baptised, and believe it's a personal acceptance and choice you make when you understand it.  I think it's generally a good idea to get a feel for what philosophies the midwife has and where it plays into her birth. If she wants to 'baptise' the baby before they leave or... I dunno, lol- again Im not sure what her practices are, but this is why your friend should just ask her questions about her practices and get it out on the table. :)

post #40 of 40

I know this thread is somewhat old, but I really appreciated the varying honest responses from so many mamas. I'm a Christian, and on my way to becoming a midwife, and I have wondered for some time about the receptivity of clients in regard to knowing of their midwife's beliefs, and comfort levels with opposing worldviews, etc. Thanks all!

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