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I've never done it before.... do you trust me? - Page 2

post #21 of 37

I do care that you've done it before... midwifed, that is!


I gave your question careful thought and I've concluded that I wouldn't consider experience giving birth as a factor in a midwife at all. The things I need from a midwife don't come from her having given birth. People are not more or less sympathetic for having done a thing. If I broke my arm, someone else who had done it before might just as well say "get over it, crybaby" as "awww, I broke my arm too and it hurt a lot, I understand." Besides which, while I want a certain nature in a midwife, I'm not hiring her to be sympathetic anyway - I mean, of course I don't want her yelling at me but it's not helpful for her to say "ohh, poor baby, contractions DO hurt."


Furthermore, I'd be open to a male midwife though admit I'd give it some extra consideration.

post #22 of 37

I would certainly hire a doula/midwife who hafn't given birth herself. I do think that giving birth would bring valuable insight into her work, but it would not be a requirement by any means.


Aren't most obgyn's male anyway?  Funny how so many doulas and midwives have expressed concern, according to previous posts in this thread anyway, about not having had a baby but so many men who deliver babies do so with (often TOO much) authority. Just a thought!

post #23 of 37

Several of her birth personal stories are in Spiritual Midwifery.

post #24 of 37

I have thought about this a lot before. I have worked as a birth and postpartum doula for several years and apprenticed as a midwife and am now 32 weeks pregnant with my 1st. I would definitely encourage anyone passionate about birth and pregnancy to pursue their chosen career regardless of having kids of their own. It certainly seems easier to be on call for a month or more at a time pre-kids.

I have definitely questioned myself whether lacking the experience of having personally given birth has affected my ability to support women through labor as a doula in a truly empathic way. I don't know what labor contractions feel like personally. That has always seemed significant to me. Granted every labor is different. Perhaps someone who had orgasmic labors and births would have a hard time empathizing with someone having a long painful labor.  I think I have been very well equipped, during labor and postpartum to give clients my utter devotion and service which could change as my energy is redirected toward my own child.

During this pregnancy so far I have been blown away by how as much as I thought I knew from books and talking to women and online research this experience is totally changing my mind about so many things. For example, I had a lot of ideas about nutrition but after experiencing first hand nausea, heartburn, food aversions and my own intuition I've come to a really different place. Then again some women have none of those symptoms during pregnancy and may feel unsympathetic towards women who have a hard time eating well.

I guess I think there are trade offs. Advantages and disadvantages either way. 1st hand experience could lead to a deeper more realistic understanding and/or a more biased perspective. I'll let you know what I think after I give birth...

p.s. sorry if this is jumbled I am writing it in the middle of the night-can't sleep.

post #25 of 37

I think for me it would depend on if I had a connection to the actual midwife. My midwife is a mother of six (including one pair of twins), and she was just so chill throughout my birthing experience, and lent me so much strength. I don't know if I would have trusted another midwife who was not a mother, but I guess I just don't know! Honestly, it would depend on the person and their attitude towards birth. If they had a lot of kids and were really trying to "manage" my birth, checking my cervix all the time, etc. I would not be happy. So yeah, I think it has more to do with attitude towards birth.

post #26 of 37

I wouldn't.  

I know that the "right" thing to say is that it shouldn't matter, that the training and the experience and the passion, etc are all that should count.  BUT....I wouldn't be able to truly trust a woman who hadn't actually done it.   I  found personally, that the act of giving birth was so profound, so life changing and transformational, so completely not understandable until it was experienced, that I would want my midwife to have had that same experience, or I wouldn't be able to trust her to guide me through  it.  It may not be a rational feeling.  And no, i wouldn't expect my oncologist, for example, to have had cancer herself, but I guess I just think birth is different.  I don't think that ALLLLLLL of the book-learning in the world can be the same as actually having the experience of giving birth. 

I'm going to echo what boater said...I've had some of the same experiences she has had....I've been working with pregnant women for 10 years now, 4 of those before i had kids...and ...frankly, you can't truly *know* until you've been there.  my understanding of all of it changed so dramatically after i actually experienced pregnancy...experienced birth..experienced parenting a newborn, a baby, a toddler, 2 children, etc.  


So ...ya.  I wouldn't hire a doula or midwife, etc who hadn't given birth.  

post #27 of 37

I don't think that having a baby is a mandatory thing. I think being sensitive is more important- and it seems that you are :)  Every woman is different, and the way she feels during pregnancy and delivery are totally different. You could have felt one way during those things and your client could be totally opposite. What is most important to me is your personality and your knowledge, not your own experiences during birth, no offense.


I had a Midwife that I wasn't familiar with attend my daughter's birth- and she was very abrasive at first. She "bet" me that I'd end up a C-Section, lol I didn't. After my delivery she sat with me and the new baby for hours talking about my pregnancy, my delivery and even my first birth. She was amazed because she had misjudged me, and had been wrong about my own abilities. I have over seperated hips during pregnancy and have to keep my legs parallel when pushing. Anyway- this midwife had never given birth. She was a very good midwife. 

post #28 of 37

I can't say for certain if I would not ever hire a doula or midwife that hasn't birthed before because I think much depends on personality and experience.  BUT, I do know from my own experience with a midwife who has not birthed before that I had a very hard time accepting her feelings/opinion on certain things.  While I was fine getting advice on nutrition, anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and birth, etc. I was not comfortable taking her advice when it came to how to birth.  I felt really restricted by her protocols and feelings about the dangers of birth.  I know some of this had to do with the fact that she hadn't attended hundreds of  births yet, but I think a lot of it stemmed from not having been through the experience herself.   I found myself saying things like, "when you've experienced natural birth before, you trust your body to do it again."   It felt insulting to say this to her somehow, but I really felt like there was something she didn't quite get, a deep belief she didn't quite have in the power of birth.

post #29 of 37
I am somewhere in the middle. I think the bigger factor for me is age/experience. I guess I like grandmotherly birth attendants and those tend to have had children!

When I had my first (hospital CNm practice) it was really important to me that my care providers had breastfed. Don't really know why.... Since I ended up going to a clc when I had trouble, lol.

I can say that I wouldn't hire a male birth attendant. I am just not comfortable with that, and if I am going to be uncomfortable I may as well be uncomfortable in the hospital with a male ob and not be paying oop.
post #30 of 37

I had posted much earlier about being a midwife while never have given birth. Well, I'm fixing that. Just found out I was pregnant and even at only 5 weeks along my outlook is changing so much. Alot of it emotional because the timing is not at all optimal but also dealing with s/s and such. Every situation is a learning one in life...

post #31 of 37

I was a midwife before I had children.  Has my perspective changed?  In spades.  But, I was still a good midwife back then.


I personally prefer child-less providers, because I feel like their attention is more focused on me during birth.  Selfish, I know, but it is what it is.  I feel like a mother might be distracted by the goings-on at home, and a child-less provider less likely to be so.  That sounds terrible to say out loud, but it really is how I feel.

post #32 of 37
I'm a childless birth pro. (doula. Apprenticed as a MW for a time). I've been not hired for being childless. I've also been hired for being childless!

I came into the birth world pretty young (22 I was holding the birth space). Im struggling through infertility. I'm working forwards being a MW.

Will I be a better MW postpartum? Don't know. I can only be what I am now. Will I not get hired? Sure. It hurts sometimes but that is okay.

I don't plan on hiring a mw at all. As for doula, it is no concern to me if she has birthed herself or not. I don't need her story - I need her experience as a birth professional and to know her way around a camera. smile.gif

We are all coming from different places. Isnt it beautiful?
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 

So lovely! I bet by now you have a.... 12-14 month old?! How exciting!


I am now 14 weeks pregnant stork-suprise.gif, and I can also say that my perspective is now rather different. I do not think that it would have/will change my ability to be an effective birth pro, but I guess there will be a new component of empathy through which I can relate to those moms more than ever before.


Even so, I think that passionate & dedicated people are capable of anything. Period.

post #34 of 37

Someone who hasn't given birth can absolutely be a great doula or midwife. I don't think it would affect my decision regarding which doula or midwife I chose, that will have much more to do with how well we click, how they make me feel, etc. In some ways I can see it being easier for someone who hasn't experienced childbirth to minimize the discomfort, pain, and so forth - like a male doctor who has never had menstrual cramps, poo-pooing about how they aren't so bad or its just psychological. But even people who have experienced childbirth can be dismissive assholes, so I do not consider the experience of childbirth to be the main determining factor for who makes a great birth attendant. Qualities I want  - someone who is supportive of me and my decisions, respectful, patient, warm, a kind touch, confident, knowledgeable, strong, empathetic, with a good sense of humor, fun, positive, and enthusiastic.... Perhaps experiencing birth themselves has helped them attain these qualities, but perhaps not. 

post #35 of 37

Chuzzie- Congrads!!!


To the question. For me I want a doula that has given birth. MIDWIFE- I don't care 

post #36 of 37
I would want to know if the doula had given birth or not and if she had given birth how that birth(s) went, but it would only be a small factor and I wouldn't turn away a doula because she had not given birth, I just want to know where people are coming from. I too would be more interested in her actual doula experience, to make sure she had plenty of experience and tools to be able to deal with a wide variety of situations.
post #37 of 37
One of the midwives I hired had never given birth. I don't know if it was her experience or the fact she had never given birth that made her terrible. She ate stinky food in my house (never do that to a laboring woman), tool loud phone calls (broke my concentration), was more concerned about me leaking on the floor than helping with walking(she chased me wth a chux instead) and left me at the hospital in the middle of a contraction. I think if you haven't given birth it is really important to think about the state of mind laboring women are in. That being said, I think women that haven't given birth can do a great job.
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