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? re Midwife and Heartbeat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Mamas! I have a kind of silly question: but it is bugging me and would love some experienced moms opinions. This is my second birth, planning a second home birth and working with a new to me home birth midwife. My first midwife took measurements of my uterus and listened to the heart beat each visit. First using a doppler then I think from month 4 on listening with a fetoscope (i think that is the right word). I prefer the fetoscope and told both midwives that I would prefer to only use the doppler when absolutely necessary. 


Now I have had 3 appointments with my current midwife and she only tried to use the fetoscope at the last one (i was 21 weeks along). She only tried for about a minute and then gave up. I was surprised. I really wanted to hear the heartbeat and had my toddler come too to listen. Why didn't she try to find it longer? Also she doesn't measure my growing uterus, which surprises me. 


I would love to hear from other moms about their home birth midwives. Is this typical? Should I ask her about it? Also the not measuring my belly? 


I am feeling like she just wants to talk about my personal life and doesn't focus on my pregnancy much. Strange feeling for a midwife. It costs so much and honestly I got so much more out of a $50 ultrasound than I have gotten out of meeting with her, (which is probably costing me $100/hr or so). 

post #2 of 5



Well, I declined doppler completely and my (homebirth) MW finally listened for my baby's HB at my last appointment (21.5 weeks).  She found it pretty quickly, which I thought was great, considering she's less comfortable with fetoscopes than the other MW in the practice.  I'd think a midwife would give it a good 5 minutes of searching before giving up... and even then, I'd think she'd give an explanation, like she thinks your placenta is anterior, or she just hasn't used a fetoscope much and isn't awesome at finding heartbeats before the 3rd trimester (as mine has expressed, though she did find it at 21.5).  Neither MW seriously tried to listen for the HB at my previous appointments (11 and 15.5 weeks), but it didn't bother me, because they'd have been pretty unlikely to find it then. 


My MW didn't really "measure" my belly, FWIW...  She just said the fundus was at U-1 (my bellybutton, minus one finger breadth).  I didn't think they'd be using a measuring tape or anything for a little while (this is my first, so I have nothing to compare it to).


I wouldn't be bothered per se by a MW who talked about my personal life, as long as it was at least vaguely relevant and/or she also talked about my pregnancy, at least at other appointments...  What I mean is, I think one of the good things about having a MW is that they usually know a lot about your life as a whole, which can really help them in treating and caring for you.  Like if they know you're a grad student working on your thesis, they may understand you're under X amount of stress and how that might affect you.  But that's just me.  If you feel like she's just chatting with you about nothing all the time, I can understand why you might feel irritated.


Just my experience.

post #3 of 5

CalmCenter- At the very least I would ask her about it.  This pregnancy is my first with a homebirth midwife and she searches for a hb (sometimes for a few minutes if baby is not cooperating) and measures my belly at every appt. (When I had a hospital mw, she only started measuring my uterus with a measuring tape at 20 weeks but would feel for the top of the uterus before that.) I think it's really important to be comfortable with your midwife, so I would clear the air by asking her about it and letting her know your preferences for care.



I agree with buko about the personal talk as long as pregnancy and questions are addressed at the appointment.  Even with my hospital based mw last time, once we were done with all the regular stuff (baby's hb, pee in a cup, measurement of uterus, my weight) she would ask if I had any questions and let me know if there were any tests, etc. coming up for me.  Then we would just shoot the breeze for the rest of my 30 minutes. (Which was usually 15-20 minutes of me chattering away about my life... no wonder we are friends to this day!)

post #4 of 5

If you feel uneasy about your midwife and don't feel like she is giving you good care, you are not obligated to have her as your midwife. In fact, if you are sensing that this midwife is not giving you the care that you would like or need, you should switch to another midwife. Chances are she is a good midwife, but in order to be your midwife, you should be 100% comfortable with her and her skills and methods of practice. 


I also recommend the book, Heart & Hands by Elizabeth Davis. You can get it on Amazon.com. It is an amazing book that outlines the midwife's role in birth and is excellent for parents who want to be informed. 

post #5 of 5

In my personal opinion, I would find a new midwife.  If she can't be "bothered" to find a heartbeat at 21.5 weeks or to measure your fundal height, then how do I know if she will "bother" to notice other important things or potential issues?  Isn't her position to provide care and expertise--not to be a coffee buddy?  I'm not looking for a best friend or labor coach--I'm looking for someone who can safely and skillfully help my baby into this world and not unnecessarily damage me in the process.  I don't mind personal questions and general chit chat when they are accompanied by skilled care.  In the absence of skilled care, it's a deal breaker for me.

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