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Would you want to know?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I had a great home birth with a midwife. She is a really lovely person and her help enabled me to have my beautiful birth. But I felt that she did let me down in some senses and I felt disappointed in her postpartum care. I am not sure if I should talk through these concerns with her. I don't want to offend her. She really is lovely and a competent midwife. I guess I was just wandering, if she would like to know so that she could either justify her choices or learn from them, or if I should just let it slide. I don't want to give details about what my concerns are. Just looking for your advice as professionals. Would you want to know? Would it make a difference?
post #2 of 7
As a doula I would want to know. Honestly every bit. I cant imagine this changing once im providing midwifery care. Maybe tell her just as you told us, how you feel about her, as well as what disappointed you.
post #3 of 7
As a doula part of the post partum work I do is a "decompress" on the birth. What happened that I did that you liked, that you didn't like. How could I have helped you in a way that would have made you feel more supported?

Also, the midwife I work with does the same thing at one of her post partum visits (actually, it is generally one of the visits I do for her). Is there anything in the service we provided that you feel could have been improved upon? Is there anything that you really liked?

I believe strongly that if I don't hear the negative along with the positive, I am less likely to change my practices if they need to be changed. I have gotten some really REALLY helpful feedback, too, for the trouble of asking.

So...yes, I would gently let her know what she did that you felt was so wonderful and helpful, and ALSO, what she could have done to support you in a manner that you would have felt was more helpful to you.
post #4 of 7
Remember to say everything in the "I" form and not the "You". Such as, it is much easier to hear "I really wish I would have had more postpartum support for xyz issue." vs "You didn't provide enough postpartum support to me." KWIM?

I saw be honest and let her know, just be kind...and use the "I" form. As a sensitive person, I get my initial reaction is that my feelings are hurt (more disappointed that I didn't my job 100%) but I get over that in minutes, if not seconds, and truly appreciate feedback so I can better help any further clients.
post #5 of 7
I think my response would be similar to the pp. It's not something I had really thought of, but I would like to ask clients what I could improve on and change.

She'll likely be a bit put off, and maybe a tad awkward- but in the long run she'll be grateful- as will her next clients.
post #6 of 7
It is very important to me to know how my care was received by families! I actually provide a postpartum client opinion survey at the 6wk visit, which allows them to rate me on a scale of 1-5 on various matters pertaining to prenatal, birth and pp services. It also has room for general comments. When I hand them the survey, I let ppl know that while we might simply have to agree to disagree on some points because the way I do some things is not much open to change, well--I hope to be growing and evolving and also to have some general flexibility that allows me to fit better with as many clients as possible. So, any/all comments help to some degree--praise, criticism and suggestions are *wanted* and helpful to me.

Yes, there is most always some face-to-face discussion, before the 6wk visit, btwn me and moms about the birth/all care. But I give them the survey and ask that they get around to sending it back *someday*, emphasizing that there is no need to do it immediately. I have heard some mws say that it may well be better to ask fams to wait a few months before doing the survey (or not to give it to them until later)--to let the whole experience settle in, as it were, time for clients to gain some perspective. A mom who feels she had a fantastic birth may be too 'high' to mention anything 'negative'; a mom who had a disappointing experience (even if that had little/nothing to do w/the mw's care) may have a hard time saying anything 'positive'. If this makes sense.

In any event, do try to let her know--mws need to know how they are doing and how they might need to change. I agree that 'I statements' are the way to go....'I wish that...' 'I felt abc when you did xyz'...Also, you might want to start by saying, early in the visit, that you would like the opportunity to give her some feedback, and ask if she has the time at this visit. This first of all gives her a bit of a head's up, always appreciated. Secondly, if she doesn't have the time that day, you can either set another app't to talk, or perhaps she would prefer you wrote a letter. Most people accept critique more readily (if they're the type to accept it at all!) if they have a bit of prep time, and if it arrives in a form they are comfortable receiving. And yes, yes, yes, do include specific comments on what you appreciated along with the critique.

good luck! btw, I personally feel that pp care can be every bit as important as prenatal and birth care, to the health and well being of mom and baby (tho some motherbabies need pp care less than others, for sure). And while many other mws feel the same way, I do know some who don't. Those mws need feedback from clients to help them adjust their thinking and services, IMO.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I will try to approach the subject with her at my 6 wk check.
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