This gives me stress just thinking about having to "host" my midwives during MY birth. Do midwives really expect me to provide meals for them or anything else?
Saw someone mention providing meals for the midwives??
Mine didn't! They were certainly welcome to anything in the fridge, but there was never any discussion of their food at all. Ask them... if they expect to be fed (which seems odd to me), then freeze something now and clearly label it in the freezer. Let them know that it is there...done!
In my experience (1 home birth, and attending 2 others) most homebirthers choose to have sandwich items, cereals, and fruits or snacks in house for the midwives in case she happens to be there overnight or for an extended time. It doesn't have to be a big deal, just ensure that there is food in the house and someone (other than you) knows where it is! That was if you have prodromal labor you don't have to send the midwife for take-out :) Note: I've never heard a midwife ask a laboring mom why there was no hot meal prepared LOL I don't think that would go over well!
Actually yes, I have known midwives to write it into their contracts - lol. Mostly, this is for labors that go loooong. I know my last baby was born around lunch time and i had NOTHING in the house and NO TIME to get anything...but again, it was a fast birth and midwives were home for dinner - so there was no worry there. With my first home birth - i was in labor 12hours and the midwife and asst were with me for at least 8 of it. My son was born at 6PM - we all ate dinner together, before they left. I put a lasagna together before labor got too heavy.
In the normal stocking up just before the baby comes - just make sure to have a little extra - (no is expecting to be served on the good dishes) extra fruit in the fruit bowl, extra cold cuts for sandwiches, soup, or lasagna, or prepared frozen foods would be totally appropriate.
Most families do keep quick food on hand that can be easily gotten and eaten. Births can be long, MWs get hungry, and isn't like they always have time to pack food for themselves before they leave. I'm sure most keep emergency food in the car but a bar doesn't really cut it for a meal or two.
Yes, I make sure I have food for who ever may be at my births. I don't go all out, towards the end I just just make sure I shop often, have a stocked fridge. I keep stuff for sandwiches on hand and usually have a pot of something in the fridge that can be reheated easily. We ordered pizza after DD2 was born everyone was happy with that, if not then they were more then welcome to help themselves to other food. For my last two births, the MWs came directly from another birth/house and had not been home in days.
As a doula when I enter into a laboring moms house the last thing I want them to worry about is me. I always pack my own snacks and bottled drinks. I don't see why this would be difficult for midwives. I really need to remember to bring this up! I don't think this will be an issue though, on average my labors are have been 5 hours, and the midwife will take about an hour to get to my house.
I am a midwife.... I never expect anyone to have food for me and I bring snacks along. That being said, if its a long birth, we need to eat to keep our stamina up (just like you) and its great if there is food in the house we can help ourselves to. Additionally, you should have lots of food in the house for you and your partner for immediately following the birth.
my midwives do have food for them and others attending the birth listed on the birth supplies list. they are vegetarian, so it's good that they specify so that I can be sure to have veg food on hand. but they don't expect me to have a hot meal served, they just want to make sure that there's snacks and quick foods on hand in case of a long labor. I was planning on trying to stay well-stocked for after the birth anyway, so the only extra effort will be if I freeze meals to make sure they are marked veg or non-veg.
As I see it, there are 2 reasons that mws put 'food' on the supply list:
1. So the family has some put by, for their own convenience and nourishment during and in the hours/days following birth.
2. So the mw, along with mama, her partner/kids/others, has good food to eat. Yes, a mw could be at your house for several hours...and will be waiting upon the laboring woman and possibly her partner, too. Should she just eat fruit and granola bars or a tuna sandwich she brought herself, during that time? Better for all if she can actually have a meal, should she be there long enough to warrant one.
It is not about playing hostess, no laboring woman should be thinking about that! But if you put aside a few casseroles, or just make sure to have plenty of quick foods on hand for all, then your mw can eat as needed--and also serve as hostess to you and your family who are present, when food is needed.
A mw may arrive shortly before birth, and be gone within a couple hours later. If so, food is unlikely to be an issue for her, but it could be if she is rushing to you at one of her usual mealtimes. Or, the mw may be with you for many hours or even a day or more. Knowing she can grab something to eat from your fridge is better for all than if she has to stop to think about food, order out, etc. You want your mw to be well-nourished so as to be alert and cheerful. And you want her to be able to get food for you/partner as needed, during and after the birth.
Think about it--a homebirth mw is on the road quite a bit, and oncall to families at all hours. She often goes on less sleep than usual, and it may be a few days (you never know, sometimes births occur in waves no matter if due dates are weeks apart) before she is home long enough to catch up on sleep and good meals. Under these conditions, it can be hard for her to maintain a healthy-enough diet to keep her in top shape physically and mentally, unless families make the small contribution of decent food for her. Homebirth midwifery is not shift work such as a hospital staffer provides. There is no cafeteria just downstairs where she can go fetch a meal on her own dime. By graciously making food available--which after all will be served to you/family as well as to herself--is a small thing to contribute to her well-being. For YOUR benefit, homebirth mama, as much as for hers.
And again--no, you are not to be playing hostess to anyone. You are to be laboring, without undue interruptions, and waited upon hand and foot by your mw, doula, partner, friends. You will simply make your own experience better if you make sure that your helpers have food onhand. If mw and helpers are there only briefly, and don't need to eat--well, then that food you made available will still be available to you! Consider that the fee you pay your mw is not only $xxxxx., there is the additional 'fee' of a few dollars worth of food for her.
My mw requested we just have yogurt, peanut butter, and a decent (non-white) loaf of bread.
You could even keep the bread in the freezer until labor starts just to make sure it is fresh. Plus I made sure that she was welcome to any other food we have available.
Food is a basic human need, I can't imagine being anything but accomodating that this wonderful supportive woman might need to eat while in your home for hours on end!
I've never put food in the contract--but it is on the supply list. So it gets discussed along with all the other supplies (and birthing day prep activities) near the end of pregnancy.
Just want to add that there are few things lovelier than sharing a meal together, after the birth. it doesn't always happen, and it doesn't have to happen--it all depends on the birth, the hour, the family and mw in that moment. But it is quite lovely and usually fun to sit together, mama, baby, her family along with mw/other helpers--usually in the birthing room-- and break bread together in the post birth afterglow. You might be surprised!
Yeah I think a meal afterwards would be fine, I do plan on making soup when I go into labor and let it simmer and eat if after the baby is born. Since they will be sticking around after the birth they are more than welcome to eat with us. I guess my main feeling about this is, if I'm not eating, why do they NEED to be eating other than some snacks that they may bring. They have already told me that all they do is sit around, and just check the heartbeat once in a while. I also have some issues with eating in general, I had an eating disorder that I've recovered from, but I still HATE seeing people eat...so this is more a personal issue than anything to do with what's socially acceptable in these situations.
Aaahhh, I see--makes more sense now. Just so you know, it would be perfectly ok to ask people not to eat around you while you're laboring...mostly people don't, IME, but if someone does you can ask them not to. Or mention it in advance, and ask your dh to help keep an eye out for you on that. And it may be that no one eats anything during your labor, depending on timing of everything.
Just so you know, though--even sitting around, or napping, after several hours people do get hungry.
Hugs, mama!! While I agree that it's very good to have healthy food at home during a birth (for everyone in attendance) there are many, many ways around this problem. Make some soup and talk to your MW and all will be well. But talk to them about this if you can. It'll help them be more understanding and supportive while meeting their needs as well.
My midwives just request that we have a certain list of ingredients on hand, and then they make a delicious potato/vegetable soup for us during labor to have after baby is born. So although we have to be responsible to provide the ingredients, they take care of the main meal, which is so thoughtful and nice. I do, however, have a bunch of snacks on hand as well - granola bars, fruit, bottled drinks, etc. for the midwives as well as my family.