or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Birth Professionals › Midwives › Hired as the "new" midwife and "client stealing"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hired as the "new" midwife and "client stealing"

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello all! I have a question and a concern.

 

What do you do when a family chooses to hire you for a birth instead of the last homebirth midwife they worked with? And do you talk with the other midwife to let her know?

 

 

The reason I ask is that this year I was hired by a woman who had used a different practice during her last pregnancy. I didn't seek her out at all, it just became apparent that we had an amazing connection (same age, same amount of children, both doula's...) and she asked me to be her midwife. I am practicing as a primary under supervision at this point. My preceptor encouraged me to let the previous midwife know, but it never seemed right and wasn't going to cold call her and tell her. I don't agree that it is my place to "tell" on the family who wanted a different experience this time around.

 

So I found out that the previous midwife has accused me of "client stealing".

 

Here is the thing. This family OR ANY FAMILY, should be able to switch care providers. When has this ever been about the midwife? I, as a consumer, can choose not to go somewhere because it didn't work for me. I, as the midwife, understand if a woman chooses not to hire me again but instead go with someone else. It isn't about me!! It is about them. Would I be sad? Probably. But I wouldn't ever call another midwife a client stealer.  

 

Am I wrong? Is this really all about the midwife and not about the family? How should I go about this? There are other things that were said, but this is the main question I have.

 

Thank you!

 

 

post #2 of 17

I know this isn't really the answer to your question, but i have been the consumer in this kind a case. 
My second midwife did tell the first midwife, but they saw each other occasionally.  The midwives in this town do a lot together and everyone knows each other. They seem to work well together backing each other up, etc.  From both of them i have heard the sentiment that a woman needs a midwife and there are midwife to suit everyone's needs.  I still keep in touch with my first midwife and she offered to bring a meal when my last baby was born. She is a great woman and midwife, but not the best fit for me in labor.

 

Good Luck in navigating this. I think you have the right attitude. Myself as the consumer of such an important day... i always reserve the right to say who will be there.  Doulas friends, midwives included!

post #3 of 17

it isnt client stealing if a woman comes to you and hires you for your services.It sounds like the other midwife may be showing everyone why the woman switched practices if she is accusing you of stealing a client!

post #4 of 17

 

 


Edited by MidwifeErika - 1/13/12 at 4:32pm
post #5 of 17

I don't consider it client stealing.  The woman CHOSE you.  I also wouldn't bother to contact the other midwife.  If she wanted her former midwife to know, she would have said something to her.  You are there to provide her care.  If I wanted to see her old records to compare them, I would ask the client to get them from her former midwife.  I dont' think it's our place to ask the other midwife.  Just my .02

post #6 of 17

 

To me, stealing clients involves slander and things of that nature. Stealing the mailing list of another midwife and then contacting their previous clients to say nasty or untrue things to them. I have heard of this on a rare occasion; that a midwife will start rumors that another midwife is no longer practicing or is incompetent or something of that nature to try to steer all those clients to them instead. But that is all very different then a woman connecting with someone else and choosing to give them a try for care with the next pregnancy.

 

There is one situation that is more touchy than all of this and that is when a woman is switching care during pregnancy and there are obviously hard feelings in the relationship between client and midwife. I have had it happen before where someone called me at 36 weeks or so and wanted to come and talk to me about switching into my care because they weren't happy with their current midwife. In those situations, I have had to treat it a lot more delicately. I have then encouraged women to go back to their current midwife and have that open, honest, and uncomfortable conversation together. It is so very possible that a conversation will clear up the differences and make them all feel ready to go into the birth. If not, then after having that discussion then I would feel more comfortable in receiving that woman into my care because there would no longer be that ugly and silent discontentment hanging in the air and the other midwife would know it was coming as well, so it would be much better for relationships within the community as well. So far, when I have encouraged women to have that conversation, they have not called me back to set up an appointment and so I have made the assumption that maybe (hopefully) they got things worked out. I make sure they know that they do not have to stay in that relationship if they feel unsafe or like the care is unethical or some such thing, but that open communication may just help so much and then they would not have to make the change. I would appreciate the chance as a midwife to have clients come to me with issues they have with my care so that I may learn and grow.


Edited by MidwifeErika - 1/13/12 at 4:33pm
post #7 of 17

I'm not a midwife - just saw this thead title from the forum page.

 

This sounds like the nonsensical "boyfriend stealing" and "girlfriend stealing" crap that tends to explode during high school. It's childish, and it's predicated on the idea that the midwife owns her client. You can't "steal" a client. The client is an adult, autonomous individual and has the right to choose whatever care provider she wants. And, I can honestly say, as a consumer, that if I found out my midwife was calling another midwife a "client stealer", I'd drop my midwife, as that term reflects a lack of respect for me, as an autonomous invdividual, that I would not want brought to my birth.

post #8 of 17

I would also consider it a breach of confidentiality if my midwife (or any other health care provider) were to call a past provider and discuss anything about me.  She would be so fired.  I would completely lose all trust in the new midwife.  Even if I had nothing against the old midwife, and we parted on the most excellent terms, if I didn't hire her for my current pregnancy, it's none of her business. 

 

You did the right thing.  You didn't steal anybody.  Your client isn't the property of anybody else.  Ridiculous.

post #9 of 17

I think that by law, you have to get the client's consent to release that information.

 

Why would you inform the past midwife? Because it sounds like gossip and/or trouble making to me.

 

If you decide you are going to tell the last midwife, you need to make sure you have written consent from the client.

post #10 of 17

I had a doctor once inform a previous doctor that I was seeing her. Even though I had been with her for some time, I dropped her instantly. Even though she told me how sorry she was several times over, I never felt I could trust her again.

post #11 of 17

Also saw this on the front page, and am currently dealing with this from the consumer stand-point.  I'm not rehiring my MW from my previous birth.  I've been honest with all the MWs I've interviewed about what happened and why, that my MW and I still talk on occasion, but that I need a different experience this time.  One of the MW I interviewed actually asked if I'd be ok with her contacting my previous MW.  While that is something she and I would have to negotiate, she made it clear that if I said no she'd respect that.  If she hadn't, I wouldn't even have considered her for the job.  If any of the MWs I've interviewed took it upon themselves to contact my former one without my permission, I would be throwing a very vocal and very public hissy fit about breach of confidentiality. 

 

As for "client stealing" - I agree with the pps, the client has the final say, period.  So long as there was no coercion, fraud or lies told, then "stealing" doesn't apply. 

post #12 of 17


 

I'm not a midwife, but I have to say that sounds like an ethical violation (and a HIPAA violation).  Frankly, the fact that your client is pregnant is her own personal medical information and not something that should be shared with anyone else.

 

 

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwifeErika View PostI have then encouraged women to go back to their current midwife and have that open, honest, and uncomfortable conversation together. It is so very possible that a conversation will clear up the differences and make them all feel ready to go into the birth. If not, then after having that discussion then I would feel more comfortable in receiving that woman into my care because there would no longer be that ugly and silent discontentment hanging in the air and the other midwife would know it was coming as well, so it would be much better for relationships within the community as well. So far, when I have encouraged women to have that conversation, they have not called me back to set up an appointment and so I have made the assumption that maybe (hopefully) they got things worked out. I make sure they know that they do not have to stay in that relationship if they feel unsafe or like the care is unethical or some such thing, but that open communication may just help so much and then they would not have to make the change. I would appreciate the chance as a midwife to have clients come to me with issues they have with my care so that I may learn and grow.


No offense, because I do understand where you are coming from, but if I decided to approach another midwife for care, and they told me I needed to have a conversation with my current midwife before they took me on, they wouldn't hear back from me again, because I would feel patronized, and would be no longer interested in using them.  If I want to switch care, and I don't want to discuss it with my current midwife, that is my business.  And I probably have my reasons.

 

OP- I also do not agree that you should not be contacting the previous midwife.  People have the right to chose their provider, or NOT choose a provider for any reason, and it is their business as to whether or not to discuss it with the provider they have chosen to leave.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post


No offense, because I do understand where you are coming from, but if I decided to approach another midwife for care, and they told me I needed to have a conversation with my current midwife before they took me on, they wouldn't hear back from me again, because I would feel patronized, and would be no longer interested in using them.  If I want to switch care, and I don't want to discuss it with my current midwife, that is my business.  And I probably have my reasons.


I can totally understand that as well. I just have to practice in a way that I feel is the most ethical and will allow me to sleep at night. My way won't thrill everyone, but that is the bonus of many midwives is that women have options to find someone who they feel fits their style better.

 

post #15 of 17

 

Quote:
I also think would a bit of a breach of confidentiality to call the other midwife to let her know unless you get permission from the mom.....

 

Absolutely.

post #16 of 17

I am not a midwife, but I am a healthcare provider, and I agree that it is not your responsibility to contact the previous midwife. I get new patients all the time (I'm a NP) and it has never occurred to me to let other providers know I am seeing their previous patients. In addition, I am in practice with several other NPs and we often have patients who seem to connect more with one or the other of us. I have had patients apologize for wanting to see a particular provider and I always tell them that not every provider is the right fit for every patient. If this other midwife has issue with you, it is clearly her issue. 

 

I think it is appropriate to ask the patient about her previous pregnancies, and whether there is anything she would change about the care she received. This can inform your approach to her current pregnancy. 

post #17 of 17

as someone who switched practices between my 1st and 2nd birth, you didn't client steal... the client chose you, for whatever reason... if the previous midwife has an issue with that, they should contact the family for feedback on their experience... because the important thing is the client... to me, it just reads that the other practitioner is insecure...

 

i get that if it's a small birth community why your preceptor would suggest you contact the former midwife... but i agree that it's a breach of confidentiality...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Midwives
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Birth Professionals › Midwives › Hired as the "new" midwife and "client stealing"