My midwives insisted I NOT provide them any food, and they actually brought their own drinking water, and refused every offer for coffee, food, drink, everything. They joked, I've hired them, they haven't booked me as a bed & breakfast!
My midwife mentioned food in the info packet she gave me months ago - I took it to mean just to have food/beverages available if needed. Not to go out of the way and prepare food just for them - I wouldn't do that anyway!! We always have water/tea/coffee on hand, as well as fruit, bread, cheese, cream cheese, PB, jam, eggs, fresh veggies for snacking....I think that's good enough! I was thinking about making and freezing some soup to have ready in the crockpot that day - I think it would be nice. DH's idea was to make a huge bowl of pasta salad (loaded with veggies) when my labor begins . I don't know....
interesting question. i have always had food in the house, i never thought to make special food for the midwives. just help yourself. i think the whole have a casserole ready for me is a bit much. also i think if the mw has special dietary needs then maybe they need to supply their own food. if they are vegan... well i don't have a vegan house, so what am i suppose to do? not that it is hard to make up a vegan meal, but i would think that if they had special requests, then maybe they need to get their own food. if they don't give a hoot what they are eating then the fridge is always open.
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I can't imagine my MW telling me that I had to have casseroles and whatnot prepared for her! I'm still deciding what to do for food for myself (and I have plenty of time to figure it out) because I have always thrown up in labor, so I can't imagine that smelling food cooking will be a terribly good thing for me... And it will be July, so soup doesn't really fit. Plus, you never know what time you'll even go into labor- should you have breakfast food or lunch/dinner food ready? Depending how I feel in early labor and what time of day it is, I may throw together an oatmeal/quinoa porridge in the crockpot if I go into labor at night (like I have in the past), or I'm liking the pasta salad idea too if I go into labor during the day... Otherwise I will just have meals made and in the freezer, so if the MW's or DH get hungry, they can pull something out and warm it up. And that's something I would be planning to do anyway, because, as I've learned from this bout of morning sickness all throughout my first tri, if I don't cook or have meals in the freezer, we pretty much don't eat (or DH orders out or something).
I had someone at my birth specifically to "doula" the midwives, my doulas, my kids, and my husband. She went grocery shopping the morning of and had a ton of quick grab food out for everyone. Sandwiches, fruit, veggies, dips, chips, and I saved homemade cookies from Christmas. Oh and she bought bottles of flavored and non-flavored water. She was awesome! I knew the hostess in me wouldn't be able to labor without everyone being taken care of in my own home so she did that for me. Plus she knew where all supplies were in the house just in case. Another friend dropped pizza off close to the actual birth and my mom made pancakes shortly after the birth for everyone there! So maybe a doula for everyone there isn't such a bad idea :)
IBCLC, student midwife, and co-sleeping, delayed/no vax, extended breastfeeding, homeschooling Momma to M(8), A(6), R(4)after 2 c/s, J(2) and M (09/11)
Ohh, I like the idea oh having someone there to be a doula to everyone else! It makes a lot of sense too, mws, birth partners, labor doulas etc all really put a lot of effort into the laboring woman-as well they should! That's what they are there for! But they definately need to be at the top of their game to give it all to laboring mom. Having someone there specifically to make sure they got some food, water and rest is a really nice idea!
That said, DH and I both prefer to not have anyone besides us and the birth team at our place during labor. Its a small house, I'd feel like I was on display and I just really want all the energy to be birth oriented. Its something special that DH and I share, just the two of us. So that's kind of out for us...poor mws!
Anyway, my mw does ask that we provide food, but any time I've asked her what she prefers, all she says is "trail mix, cheese and crackers, that type of thing." So all she wants is very low key and easy to prepare, store and pull out foods. The reason given in her contract is because they (the birth team) need to be able to keep their stamina up during the labor, just like DH and I do. She also requests that we have an area set aside for them to pull out their sleeping bags should the labor last a long time. Makes perfect sense to me! I don't function well without food and sleep, so I really prefer knowing the my mw is going to do what she needs to be able to function when the time comes.
That said, it really threw DH and I for a loop w/ DS's birth. I had no idea really what to do for them, ended up putting it off and I'm really really glad I had such a short labor in the middle of the night and no one was around long enough to get hungry!! We had stuff around, but nothing ready to go. Now that I understand better what's actually going to be happening, I feel like I'm better able to plan for it. I also had some big elaborate plan about what I wanted to eat after birth (thanks to a few books...) but most of the ingredients were perishable. They were bad by the time I went into labor!! I know better this time, and won't be attempting anything that's not done in about ten minutes.
I wonder if mws also want to make sure there is food around to so that the laboring couple has food to eat as well, both during and after labor.
ETA: Here's what I plan to have around for them this time:
-Cheese, crackers, some cut up veggies
-Soup: I'll make this at about 38wks and freeze it. That way we can pull it out and have it out for the mws/DH and I if the labor lasts a long time or have it available for after the birth.
-Depending on how things go with the soup, DH may make some eggs and toast while I get cleaned up/stitched up (if necessary) post birth. That was the part he got most freaked out about last time and he mainly hid in the kitchen. This time he can hide productively!
-Put a loaf of bread on the counter w/ some pb
My midwife has nothing in her paperwork regarding providing her with food or any other items for that matter, but I will be asking her what she likes to eat and drink so we have it on hand in the house when the time comes....but that's just me. Anytime someone comes into my house I feel the need to feed them, that's just my own personal thing that has developed from having a grandmother and mother who insist that anyones who enters must be fed! But unless they state that they require it (and I would be hesitant to work with a midwife who did if you were uncomfortable with that idea) I wouldn't worry about it too much. Everyone will most likely have some form of drinks and snacks in the house, since you have to at least eat something after the birth (I know I was STARVING once I pushed my daughter out) so I would say that would be enough.
I have been attending births in Northern California for more than 10 years, and I would NEVER expect my clients to feed me during labor. I always bring enough food for myself, as well as tea. I guess I feel like my personal needs are my responsibility..... Sometimes my clients have food prepared, and that is a nice treat. I do think that it is important for midwives to eat well during labor (I personally do not just sit around and check heart tones occasionally; I am almost constantly busy at births). I pay particular attention to my nutrition during labors -- simple carb snacks aren't enough for me....... I do better with "real" food, and so have meals for myself in my freezer. I just pull a meal as I am leaving the house. My midwifery partner and I have a ritual of eating ginger snaps after the birth, while we are charting..... Don't know how that started. We also cook a meal for the family after the birth. We work with whatever they have in the house. The idea of having them purchase ingredients for a special soup we can cook is intriguing.
I encourage you to talk about this with your midwives, and then to let it go. It's not your job to take care of them,
We wanted to have something to offer to our MW and apprentice. DH is a professional cook and baked bread the day before and they had peanut butter sandwiches at like 5 in the morning. Offering food is just something we do, for everyone.
Thank you so much for this thread! While my midwife doesn't specifically have anything in her birth supplies list or contract about providing food, I never would have thought about it otherwise! I think we'll just put some yummy easy soup in the crock pot and everyone can just help themselves.
My midwife specified that we would provide food in our contract. I asked her about it and what kind of food we should have and she basically said that its not a big deal and not to worry about it. I think its just means that there should be something for the midwife/assistant to eat if they are stuck at the birth for a long time. Like some trail mix or chips and cheese, something to keep up energy. i don't think anyone is expecting a sit-down meal:) My doula also had something like that in her contract but she brought some snack foods too. From the time my labor picked up and everyone arrived until the time I birthed my son was only about 1.5 hours so we didn't need to worry about food. If the midwife had been there all day long I'd have wanted something for her to eat.
very interesting thread.
As a midwife, I do not put anything into the contract about the couple providing me food. I want the couple to have food and snacks that are available for the woman during labor. A variety of things, because what might sound good to you, may sound terrible to you when in labor.
I also suggest that they have meals that are in the freezer for after the birth, enough for a couple of days. That makes it easier for the husband. Most families have friends, family that will bring in meals, but just in case-it is nice to have some prepared and easy to place in the oven to heat up.
But for me-well, I do bring snacks or food along for myself. I am a insulin dependent diabetic, on a strict diet. So have to.
But-sometimes (as someone already said) you can have the births from day to day, where your not home for a number of days-and if that happens-you do need to eat. My snacks do not last for days. Or if the birth is a long one, and I am there for hours or days-well I might need more food than what I brought along. That is just practical. If I only had one client a month, then I would have enough packed all the time and be ready. But I do not, so if I am at one clients home for 4 -12 hours, I will prob have the snacks ate up, and then if I get called right away to another birth, I will need food. It is just practical. I am human and need to eat!
I do not ever expect anyone to be my hostess, and I would want to be sensitive to anyone who did not want me to eat in front of them. (I do not do this anyway, because I know smells can bother a laboring mom) Or any other issues-I would hope they would talk to me about that ahead of time. But-sometimes we -the birth team- might need food. Simple things to snack on. It does not have to be a big meal. Even eggs-are easy and filling. I never ask the couple to cook for me.
Most of the time they say-just help yourself. I have only had one couple who did not want us to eat (we were there over 24 hours and was never offered anything-and by saying 'offered'-I mean 'not allowed'-they were not my client-and the other midwife had not talked to them about food for us-) so we worked with that mom all those hours-stayed up and all- and my snacks were gone, and my blood sugar was not doing good, I could not take my insulin or I would have been on the floor. It did a number on me physically and after that-no more. If I am to survive doing this ministry-I need to take care of me, and that means food available to me at your home -just in case.
I like the comment about having someone to doula the birth team and be the go-getter-etc. I have had couples do this, and that job is really a great one to be filled. It really is.
The right person in that role, will be a bonus for everyone. Including and esp the couple.
By the way-I bring my own toothbrush! I do have a small bag packed- in my auto at all times, with the essentials like that for myself, extra clothing, a pillow-blanket -personal stuff..any meds-snacks-even some jerky!!
A place to sleep? Yes-.that is important too. (I choose to sleep in my car if needed-but then I serve in a rural area where it is safe to do so) but if I am in a town, one of the larger ones I might serve in, i would not want to be in the car and be at risk...so I might need a place to rest at your house if your labor is long.
been an interesting thread!
They told you that you were not allowed to eat anything in the home even after you were there so long?!?! I would feel SO WEIRD!!! Come assist birthing my baby....but don't you dare touch a single apple! BIZARRE-O!
Under 'supplies' My MW lists:
Food & drink for MWs & attendants (not necessary, but since folks often ask us...)
Things we like to have to eat during labors include coffee & half & half, hummus or other veggie dips, hard-boiled eggs, salad, yogurt, peanut or almond butter, nuts, cheese, crackers or bread, dark chocolate, fruit, cereal.
With the exception of veggies & salad, these are things I pretty much ALWAYS have in my house. (Well, I only have powdered half & half - I use skim milk in my tea.) Oh, and chocolate doesn't always stick around - ha! But we usually have some chocolate chips on hand at the least.
& most of these are things that last for weeks & weeks before spoiling - so no need to shop specifically for the MWs before birth.
As Ms Black wrote, it seems to me to only make sense to have some stuff on hand for MW & her asst. I'd be annoyed if they expected freshly-prepared meals (as opposed to frozen meals or things that are easy to just have on hand, like cheese & PB sandwiches), I'd also be annoyed if they expected freshly-prepared specific meals, like vegan. But the above is totally reasonable to me.