Originally Posted by rmzbm
Can someone please tell me what I can get out of a midwives care than I can't give myself?
I just realized I never answered this question. I think I read over it too fast and perceived it as being rhetorical.
What I've found midwives valuable for:
With my second birth, I wasn't ready to do my own prenatal care and felt more comfortable having someone else oversee it. I also really needed those prenatal appointments as therapy sessions, to work through my previous traumatic birth, and also to just have a birth-positive person to talk to, which at the time I really didn't have anywhere else. That was incredibly valuable to me.
With my third and fourth, which were UCs, I used midwives for a "second opinion" on a couple of issues; it was good to have a friendly and trusted professional to consult with if I felt the need for it. I also knew I could count on them to be support if I needed to transfer (which, for me also would have been only in a serious emergency) because my husband does not do hospital well and to be honest neither do I. Not as a go-between or protecter -- I see it as something of a myth that support people have really any voice at all as far as hospital personnel are concerned -- but as someone who is familiar with the system and can help us navigate it and offer emotional support along the way. These were friends, though, and I knew I could trust them and that they would stick by me. That would be more iffy with a hired stranger, perhaps.
One of them very much played a more traditional midwifery role for me by simply being with me in a positive, loving way when I was working through some difficult things ("with woman"). Again, though, this was someone who is also a friend, and there is a high level of trust and feeling of security there.
I loved that having them as backup -- in other words, giving me the freedom to not have to have it be all or nothing -- gave me the freedom to really give my body and heart voice at every step in the process. I didn't have to deny that voice if it didn't happen to fit into either the total UC or total hospital plan. That was very calming and reassuring, and allowed me to quiet myself enough to really intuit what I needed, rather making choices based on limited options.
I am a very big fan of midwives, just not for the purpose of being involved in my normal birth process.