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midwife bringing her child to my birth? - Page 2

post #21 of 67
This is what I'm talking about, though, the subtle assumption that her role as a mother makes her unable to do her job. Why not assume she knows her own role, her own child, and her own abilities well enough to know whether or not she can manage to do her job with her child there?
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsolarmomma2 View Post

Wow, talk about unprofessional and inappropriate! I can't believe she thinks this is OK, as it's can expose baby to the moms bodily fluids, and can be distracting. Just it's a good idea. I don't care if the baby is in a carrier, babies still cry, and poop, etc. no guarantee it won't fuss right when you need quiet, or distract her in an emergency.
Nope, not cool at all. Honestly, this would make me want a new provider- if she thinks this is OK, I would question her judgement overall. If an OB did this, everyone would cry "selfish, disrespectful" but its Ok for a MW? They aren't volunteers, you pay them, so they need to act lie a professional.

I completely agree.

post #23 of 67

I have two relevant experiences to share. 

 

1)  There are awesome pictures of my brother's home birth when I was 16 months old.  At least one of the midwives had a baby with her.  I think that through much of human history, it would have been very common for women with babies to be present at other women's births.  It just seems . . . normal to me.  Where it starts to seem strange is when our current culture comes into it in two ways.  One is that throughout history, 'the midwife' and the other women around a birthing woman would have been people the birthing mama knew, and probably knew well.  In our culture, oftentimes a midwife is someone we only know because we are contracting for specific services.  We don't really know her or her baby.  The other is that separation of professionalism and family.  In farm cultures or hunter gatherer societies do you think the 'professionals' went about their work without their children nearby?  Of course not.  Everybody worked; everybody helped take care of the kids; ergo, there were kids wherever there were workers, unless there were some really dangerous situation to keep the kids away from.  Honestly, if a midwife had her baby with her at a birth of mine, I'd expect that she'd put her baby down and let it cry if there were an emergency where she needed to put out 100% attention for me or my baby.  It would survive.  As a mother of several kids, and someone who has worked while caring for a baby, I know that there ARE times to prioritize something else over my baby's care.  Not lots of times, but there are some.

 

2) I was a sibling doula for a homebirth when my youngest was about that age (11 months or so).  I just was really clear with the client that I could do this for them if I could bring my baby, who was used to older kids around because she has two big brothers.  We agreed on it together.  It turned out fine - it was a night birth and my daughter actually slept almost the entire time and so did the sibling I was doula-ing.  I stayed in another room where I could listen for the sibling, laid my baby on a blanket on the floor to sleep, and read.  It could have been more complicated, certainly, but honestly?  She was used to not always getting what she wanted instantaneously, and would have been fine if I needed to wear her and deal with the sibling.

 

OP, I think it's totally your call and you should do what you feel comfortable with.  But my guess is that it would be fine to allow the baby to come - and if you have doubts about how it would turn out, you could always request that the 2nd mw have a plan B in case baby is there and it's not working for you.

post #24 of 67

I'm suprised at the number of negative responses. I'm a student midwife and will have a newborn here soon in a few days or week. The plan is for the baby to go to births with me until he/she reaches an age where they need to be left home with dad. The plan is for me to wear the baby, probably on my back, unless they need to nurse.

 

From what I've heard, midwives bringing their babies with them to births isn't uncommon in my area. Clients are asked about it beforehand, and if they're not comfortable with it (at least in my case), then I wouldn't be able to attend the birth.

 

And obviously if it's an emergency, the baby's needs come second. I was shocked that a poster thought that the second midwife wouldn't help in an emergency if her baby needed something.

post #25 of 67
I don't want the dentist to have her baby there while she's drilling my teeth, or the electrician slinging a baby around while he's rewiring my house. I don't want my doctor distracted by a baby while she's consulting with me about my symptoms. And if I'm paying someone several thousand dollars to attend my birth, I definitely want her focused on me and my care, not on her baby, not even peripherally. She can woman up and get a babysitter the way the rest of us do when we are in professional situations.

Are there some jobs where bringing a baby in is feasible? Absolutely. But this isn't one of them.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

I don't want the dentist to have her baby there while she's drilling my teeth, or the electrician slinging a baby around while he's rewiring my house. I don't want my doctor distracted by a baby while she's consulting with me about my symptoms. And if I'm paying someone several thousand dollars to attend my birth, I definitely want her focused on me and my care, not on her baby, not even peripherally. She can woman up and get a babysitter the way the rest of us do when we are in professional situations.
Are there some jobs where bringing a baby in is feasible? Absolutely. But this isn't one of them.


Thank you! You summed it up perfectly.
post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

I don't want the dentist to have her baby there while she's drilling my teeth, or the electrician slinging a baby around while he's rewiring my house. I don't want my doctor distracted by a baby while she's consulting with me about my symptoms. And if I'm paying someone several thousand dollars to attend my birth, I definitely want her focused on me and my care, not on her baby, not even peripherally. She can woman up and get a babysitter the way the rest of us do when we are in professional situations.
Are there some jobs where bringing a baby in is feasible? Absolutely. But this isn't one of them.

The big difference being that dentists have set office hours. If my dentist wasn't able to find emergency childcare to cover a middle of the night drilling because her normal any-hours babysitter was sick and her DH was out of town, I'd be totally understanding if she brought her baby along.

 

The being on-call 24/7 is a key difference between homebirth midwifery and most other professions. I would never take my child to work (I work in healthcare). However, I know my work schedule well in advance, and have the option of calling in sick/FMLA if something unavoidable comes up.

post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

I'm suprised at the number of negative responses. I'm a student midwife and will have a newborn here soon in a few days or week. The plan is for the baby to go to births with me until he/she reaches an age where they need to be left home with dad. The plan is for me to wear the baby, probably on my back, unless they need to nurse.

 

From what I've heard, midwives bringing their babies with them to births isn't uncommon in my area. Clients are asked about it beforehand, and if they're not comfortable with it (at least in my case), then I wouldn't be able to attend the birth.

 

And obviously if it's an emergency, the baby's needs come second. I was shocked that a poster thought that the second midwife wouldn't help in an emergency if her baby needed something.

I'm shocked that you think it would be OK to ignore your baby's needs (as you stated you would in an emergency) just so that you can attend a few more births.  Women should and deserve to slow down in the early months and just worry about themselves and their babies.  That's the advice I got from my midwife.  I guess some midwives don't follow their own advice.  

post #29 of 67

I actually asked that my MW's apprentice not attend my second birth because she would only come with her child. This was different because I actually knew this women personally and wasn't entirely sure I wanted her there in the first place and then the child was not a young baby, he was 2 then if I remember correctly. Now my MW for my last two births had a baby for my last birth and I was fine if she had brought her. In the end though, I called her in the middle of the night, she came here and was back home with a 1.5 drive on either side before the child ever woke up.

While I am not a MW, I am a IBCLC and due to the nature of the last minute, "I need bfing help today" calls, I often bring my children with me on home visits. Older children, only if I can not find any care at all which does happen. I have been known to wear my 2 year on my back during a home visit. I always let the moms know a head of time so they can refuse but since I am the only IBCLC in this clinic, it is me or no one (I provide free care to any of our moms, all of which are low-income). Any baby under 12 months of mine always come though due to needing frequent nursing and the rural area I serve, a mom could easily be 40+ miles away. It isn't always possible to find last minute child care, the other option is to pay an on call sitter in case you get a call which erases any money at all. I am on call 24/7, 365 days a year so again not an real option. Is this ideal, no. But since I do not always get a week's notice for a visit or the the ability to schedule regular childcare for say every Monday and Wed mornings, I do what I have to do in order to be a mother and still work.

post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

I actually asked that my MW's apprentice not attend my second birth because she would only come with her child. This was different because I actually knew this women personally and wasn't entirely sure I wanted her there in the first place and then the child was not a young baby, he was 2 then if I remember correctly. Now my MW for my last two births had a baby for my last birth and I was fine if she had brought her. In the end though, I called her in the middle of the night, she came here and was back home with a 1.5 drive on either side before the child ever woke up.


While I am not a MW, I am a IBCLC and due to the nature of the last minute, "I need bfing help today" calls, I often bring my children with me on home visits. Older children, only if I can not find any care at all which does happen. I have been known to wear my 2 year on my back during a home visit. I always let the moms know a head of time so they can refuse but since I am the only IBCLC in this clinic, it is me or no one (I provide free care to any of our moms, all of which are low-income). Any baby under 12 months of mine always come though due to needing frequent nursing and the rural area I serve, a mom could easily be 40+ miles away. It isn't always possible to find last minute child care, the other option is to pay an on call sitter in case you get a call which erases any money at all. I am on call 24/7, 365 days a year so again not an real option. Is this ideal, no. But since I do not always get a week's notice for a visit or the the ability to schedule regular childcare for say every Monday and Wed mornings, I do what I have to do in order to be a mother and still work.

Nursing consult calls are not "life and death" situations in which ... if your attention flickers back to your child.. you might miss something going on with your client. A birthing mom deserves every second of her professional's paid attention. Taking your possible nursling on a nursing call is in no way the same.
post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post

I'm shocked that you think it would be OK to ignore your baby's needs (as you stated you would in an emergency) just so that you can attend a few more births.  Women should and deserve to slow down in the early months and just worry about themselves and their babies.  That's the advice I got from my midwife.  I guess some midwives don't follow their own advice.  

 

With the number of births I've attended, I'm comfortable saying that the vast majority of the time, there's not an emergency to deal with, so yes, in the rare case that an emergency situation occurs, I would absolutely ignore a crying baby for the time needed to deal with it.

 

And not that it's necessary to justify myself to someone who isn't in my situation, but I'm not doing this to "attend a few more births." I am in a contracted apprenticeship and I consider myself very lucky to have a preceptor who is willing to let the baby come to appointments with clients and births (with permission from the client ahead of time) so that I won't have to pump and leave my newborn with our babysitter.

 

And you're right, many midwives don't follow their own advice. We're passionate about what we do and when clients want us to come and tell us that they'd rather have us with our baby than not have us, there are many of us who will still attend births. I know other midwives who have attended births days and weeks after having their own babies (and reading Spiritual Midwifery, you hear about lots of newborns going when their neighbors/friends were born).

 

Again, having another woman bring her baby to their birth isn't for everyone and I think that those decisions are at the discretion of the birthing mama.

post #32 of 67

There are so many variables in this scenario that it's interesting to me the passion behind the folks that oppose this idea. I'm also not sure about the assumption that a MW can be more focused with their child in another location, with another care-giver. OP, of course it's up to you.  I hope that the fact that some people seriously oppose this idea doesn't make you uncomfortable with something you would otherwise be fine with. Because you are presumably an intelligent woman who has chosen an intelligent MW, I assume that this assistant is a capable professional and parent who is able to make choices that allow her to do her job and parent the way she feels best. I, personally, would not want my homebirth to look anything like a dentist's office. ;-)  

post #33 of 67

" Can you imagine, the first midwife needs her help, and she's like, "hold on, my baby is crying and needs to be fed".....really?"

oliviajune, I have to agree with Rrrrachel's comment.      -such a response sounds more like an entertaining comical moment in a film, than a response from a real midwife.  

 

LionessMom, I agree with your expectantancy of 2nd midwife's role.  

 

To me (both as a midwife and as a mother), this is a situation requiring an expectant mother to make a decision to serve her own life (comfort-zone and  desires), and does not require a judgement on the second midwife, nor the primary midwife.  Obviously, if forceful, pushy, trying to get accommodation for a midwife to bring her child to a mother's labor occurs....that needs judgement.  I place my statement in this context: Hopefully the institutional model will never become all that exists.  Hopefully tribal/village/community model will endure. 

 

  " . now i am wondering if that wont be distracting for me. "   ....consider well and make a wise decision based on you.   

 

Sandra Hess, CPM

Heartland Midwifery

Fresno, OH.

post #34 of 67

I wouldn't be OK with it. I'd actually be more comfortable with a newer infant than a baby that age, who would potentially want to be crawling around rather than sleeping/nursing/hanging out in a sling like a newborn. A baby that age can be left with a sitter. As a PP said, some work can be done with a baby around- I'd be fine with a baby at a prenatal checkup, for example- but birth is intense, physical work and I'd want any attendants to be able to give me their complete focus during it.
 

post #35 of 67

I would have issues with it.

 

The reason for a second midwife is a second pair of hands in the event something goes wrong - or in case you and the newborn need attending.  I think that might be hard for the second midwife to do if her baby was screaming or hungry in the background.  Even if the midwife could prioritize and say to herself "Ok, this mother and newborn need my help now" I would worry the baby might distract everyone, or make it harder to focus.  I certainly find it harder to focus when babies cry.  Maybe when adrenaline kicks in one can blockout the sounds of a hungry baby wail…but I just don't know, and would not want to risk it during a birth. 

 

 

I do not have any issues with a midwife (particularly if it is agreed upon ahead of time) having a baby present at pre and post-natals.  I like workplaces that are family friendly…but there is a time and place.

post #36 of 67

I would have no issues with it, unless she were the primary midwife. I would be in no way offended my someone else's child at my birth. It's the adults I have a problem with....shrug.gif

post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post

just wondering thoughts on this. my midwife is a DEM who works alone but brings a second one with her to births. the second one said she would have to bring her kid with her. he is 8 or 10 mo i think. at first i was ok with it bc i was figuring it would be just me and the doula and the first midwife in my room and the second would be sitting back for support or second opinions for the first. now i am wondering if that wont be distracting for me. 

LM, out of curiosity, is your MW providing the doula or are you? 

post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

This is what I'm talking about, though, the subtle assumption that her role as a mother makes her unable to do her job. Why not assume she knows her own role, her own child, and her own abilities well enough to know whether or not she can manage to do her job with her child there?


This isn't about her role as a mother. This is about trying to perform 2 jobs at once. It is not about "being a mother." She's still a mother even if her child isn't there at the time. She can be a mother; she may not be able to perform childcare while doing another job. Men aren't generally allowed to bring their children with them to work either, so really, it's about parents and parenting, not mothers.


The client is paying for the midwife's time, and therefore, the client has the right to say that she wants the midwife's undivided attention. If the midwife doesn't want to provide that, it's up to her. But there's nothing wrong with the client for saying that's what she wants.

 

IMO, a baby is a distraction and given what's going on at a birth, the midwife needs to be sure she can focus 100% of her energy on the client if it comes to that.

post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by oliviajune View Post

 

Yeah, except that those women going into Parliament aren't going to be needed in a possible emergency situation (not that that is very likely, but it COULD). Can you imagine, the first midwife needs her help, and she's like, "hold on, my baby is crying and needs to be fed".....really?

 

Is that really what you think that would happen? If you were in any emergency situation that required action on your part while your child was present, is that how you would act?

 

e.g.

Your husband: "Honey, the house is on fire. We need to evacuate."

You: "Hold on, the baby is crying."

(And then you plop yourself down in your favorite nursing spot while the house burns around you.)

 

Sure it's best to respond to your child's hunger ASAP, but regardless of whether you're a stay-at-home mom or a professional bringing your child to work, I think there are inevitably going to be times where you can't drop everything and put your kid to the breast right that second. That is a bummer for the kid, certainly, but if people were irreparably harmed by that happening a couple times throughout their infancy, I don't think humanity would have survived this long.

 

 

 

Quote:
The client is paying for the midwife's time, and therefore, the client has the right to say that she wants the midwife's undivided attention. If the midwife doesn't want to provide that, it's up to her. But there's nothing wrong with the client for saying that's what she wants.

 

Yeah, I agree with this, but there's a difference between, "You should turn this midwife down if you don't want the baby there," and "This midwife is unprofessional and incompetent for wanting to bring a baby."

 

 

 

Quote:
I don't want the dentist to have her baby there while she's drilling my teeth, or the electrician slinging a baby around while he's rewiring my house. I don't want my doctor distracted by a baby while she's consulting with me about my symptoms.

 

Okay, I can sympathize with the objections to a midwife bringing a baby to a birth, but I don't understand these ones. Especially the electrician.

post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post


This isn't about her role as a mother. This is about trying to perform 2 jobs at once. 

 

I think the idea is that if we consider her a competent MW and mother then we can trust her to make a responsible choice about whether this is a good solution?   

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisT View Post

 

The client is paying for the midwife's time, and therefore, the client has the right to say that she wants the midwife's undivided attention. If the midwife doesn't want to provide that, it's up to her. But there's nothing wrong with the client for saying that's what she wants.

 

Certainly not! But who is saying otherwise? 

 

I don't know about you all but I think it's so hard to compare homebirth midwifery with other professions that I wonder why we bother.   

 

OP, one other question - did you get the feeling like the other MW was going to bring her baby no matter what or that it needed to be an option? I can certainly see how if you end up with a quick, intense labor how a baby could really get in the way. Mainly because there would be little time to get the baby settled and etc. I also think it seems easier to expect that other MW have some child care on had for a few hours. But, for a long labor (lets remember that these can sometimes go on for days!) I know I would much prefer the other MW have her baby with her so she could relax and not worry about her own child. 

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