Saw someone mention providing meals for the midwives?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-03-2011, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This gives me stress just thinking about having to "host" my midwives during MY birth.  Do midwives really expect me to provide meals for them or anything else?


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Old 01-03-2011, 08:08 PM
 
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Mine didn't!  They were certainly welcome to anything in the fridge, but there was never any discussion of their food at all.  Ask them... if they expect to be fed (which seems odd to me), then freeze something now and clearly label it in the freezer.  Let them know that it is there...done!


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Old 01-03-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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In my experience (1 home birth, and attending 2 others) most homebirthers choose to have sandwich items, cereals, and fruits or snacks in house for the midwives in case she happens to be there overnight or for an extended time. It doesn't have to be a big deal, just ensure that there is food in the house and someone (other than you) knows where it is! That was if you have prodromal labor you don't have to send the midwife for take-out :) Note: I've never heard a midwife ask a laboring mom why there was no hot meal prepared LOL I don't think that would go over well! 


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Old 01-03-2011, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw someone post it in the "what I wish I had known beforehand" thread, that they didn't have meals so they ordered pizza for the midwives and the midwives were upset about this??  If I get this kind of attitude from my midwives I'll show them the door.  I'll just ask at my next apt. 


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Old 01-03-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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Actually yes, I have known midwives to write it into their contracts - lol.  Mostly, this is for labors that go loooong.  I know my last baby was born around lunch time and i had NOTHING in the house and NO TIME to get anything...but again, it was a fast birth and midwives were home for dinner - so there was no worry there.  With my first home birth - i was in labor 12hours and the midwife and asst were with  me for at least 8 of it.  My son was born at 6PM - we all ate dinner together, before they left.  I put a lasagna together before labor got too heavy. 

In the normal stocking up just before the baby comes - just make sure to have a little extra - (no is expecting to be served on the good dishes)  extra fruit in the fruit bowl, extra cold cuts for sandwiches, soup, or lasagna, or  prepared frozen foods would be totally appropriate. 


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Old 01-03-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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Most families do keep quick food on hand that can be easily gotten and eaten. Births can be long, MWs get hungry, and isn't like they always have time to pack food for themselves before they leave. I'm sure most keep emergency food in the car but a bar doesn't really cut it for a meal or two. 

 

Yes, I make sure I have food for who ever may be at my births. I don't go all out, towards the end I just just make sure I shop often, have a stocked fridge. I keep stuff for sandwiches on hand and usually have a pot of something in the fridge that can be reheated easily. We ordered pizza after DD2 was born  everyone was happy with that, if not then they were more then welcome to help themselves to other food. For my last two births, the MWs came directly from another birth/house and had not been home in days. 


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Old 01-03-2011, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As a doula when I enter into a laboring moms house the last thing I want them to worry about is me.  I always pack my own snacks and bottled drinks.  I don't see why this would be difficult for midwives.  I really need to remember to bring this up!  I don't think this will be an issue though, on average my labors are have been 5 hours, and the midwife will take about an hour to get to my house. 


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Old 01-03-2011, 08:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motherhendoula View Post

Actually yes, I have known midwives to write it into their contracts - lol.  


Yes! I've seen a frozen meal listed under supplies needed for most of the MWs I know or have used. 


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Old 01-03-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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I am a midwife.... I never expect anyone to have food for me and I bring snacks along. That being said, if its a long birth, we need to eat to keep our stamina up (just like you) and its great if there is food in the house we can help ourselves to. Additionally, you should have lots of food in the house for you and your partner for immediately following the birth. 

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Old 01-03-2011, 10:59 PM
 
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my midwives do have food for them and others attending the birth listed on the birth supplies list. they are vegetarian, so it's good that they specify so that I can be sure to have veg food on hand. but they don't expect me to have a hot meal served, they just want to make sure that there's snacks and quick foods on hand in case of a long labor. I was planning on trying to stay well-stocked for after the birth anyway, so the only extra effort will be if I freeze meals to make sure they are marked veg or non-veg. 


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Old 01-04-2011, 03:50 AM
 
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As I see it, there are 2 reasons that mws put 'food' on the supply list:

 

1.  So the family has some put by, for their own convenience and nourishment during and in the hours/days following birth. 

2.  So the mw, along with mama, her partner/kids/others, has good food to eat.  Yes, a mw could be at your house for several hours...and will be waiting upon the laboring woman and possibly her partner, too.  Should she just eat fruit and granola bars or a tuna sandwich she brought herself, during that time?  Better for all if she can actually have a meal, should she be there long enough to warrant one. 

 

It is not about playing hostess, no laboring woman should be thinking about that!  But if you put aside a few casseroles, or just make sure to have plenty of quick foods on hand for all, then your mw can eat as needed--and also serve as hostess to you and your family who are present, when food is needed.

 

A mw may arrive shortly before birth, and be gone within a couple hours later.  If so, food is unlikely to be an issue for her, but it could be if she is rushing to you at one of her usual mealtimes. Or, the mw may be with you for many hours or even a day or more.  Knowing she can grab something to eat from your fridge is better for all than if she has to stop to think about food, order out, etc.  You want your mw to be well-nourished so as to be alert and cheerful.  And you want her to be able to get food for you/partner as needed, during and after the birth. 

 

Think about it--a homebirth mw is on the road quite a bit, and oncall to families at all hours.  She often goes on less sleep than usual, and it may be a few days (you never know, sometimes births occur in waves no matter if due dates are weeks apart) before she is home long enough to catch up on sleep and good meals.  Under these conditions, it can be hard for her to maintain a healthy-enough diet to keep her in top shape physically and mentally, unless families make the small contribution of decent food for her.  Homebirth midwifery is not shift work such as a hospital staffer provides.  There is no cafeteria just downstairs where she can go fetch a meal on her own dime.  By graciously making food available--which after all will be served to you/family as well as to herself--is a small thing to contribute to her well-being.  For YOUR benefit, homebirth mama, as much as for hers.

 

And again--no, you are not to be playing hostess to anyone.  You are to be laboring, without undue interruptions, and waited upon hand and foot by your mw, doula, partner, friends.  You will simply make your own experience better if you make sure that your helpers have food onhand.  If mw and helpers are there only briefly, and don't need to eat--well, then that food you made available will still be available to you!  Consider that the fee you pay your mw is not only $xxxxx., there is the additional 'fee' of a few dollars worth of food for her.

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Old 01-04-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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My mw requested we just have yogurt, peanut butter, and a decent (non-white) loaf of bread. 

 

You could even keep the bread in the freezer until labor starts just to make sure it is fresh.  Plus I made sure that she was welcome to any other food we have available. 

 

Food is a basic human need, I can't imagine being anything but accomodating that this wonderful supportive woman might need to eat while in your home for hours on end!

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Old 01-04-2011, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, well I will ask to find out what they expect.  I don't remember anything in the contract. 


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Old 01-04-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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I've never put food in the contract--but it is on the supply list.  So it gets discussed along with all the other supplies (and birthing day prep activities) near the end of pregnancy. 

 

Just want to add that there are few things lovelier than sharing a meal together, after the birth.  it doesn't always happen, and it doesn't have to happen--it all depends on the birth, the hour, the family and mw in that moment.  But it is quite lovely and usually fun to sit together, mama, baby, her family along with mw/other helpers--usually in the birthing room-- and break bread together in the post birth afterglow.  You might be surprised!

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah I think a meal afterwards would be fine, I do plan on making soup when I go into labor and let it simmer and eat if after the baby is born.  Since they will be sticking around after the birth they are more than welcome to eat with us.  I guess my main feeling about this is, if I'm not eating, why do they NEED to be eating other than some snacks that they may bring.  They have already told me that all they do is sit around, and just check the heartbeat once in a while.  I also have some issues with eating in general, I had an eating disorder that I've recovered from, but I still HATE seeing people eat...so this is more a personal issue than anything to do with what's socially acceptable in these situations.  


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Old 01-04-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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Aaahhh, I see--makes more sense now.  Just so you know, it would be perfectly ok to ask people not to eat around you while you're laboring...mostly people don't, IME, but if someone does you can ask them not to.  Or mention it in advance, and ask your dh to help keep an eye out for you on that.  And it may be that no one eats anything during your labor, depending on timing of everything. 

 

Just so you know, though--even sitting around, or napping, after several hours people do get hungry. 

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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this conversation makes me want to run away and birth by myself.  I'm feeling so much anxiety.  over food.  leftover eating disorder issues.  uhhg.  Anyways I'm making the darn soup so it'll be fine I know. 


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Old 01-04-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it at all.  I don't ever have food "prepared" or set aside for the midwives.  I mean, most everyone has SOME sort of food in their home.   I pretty much just say, there's my kitchen -- help yourself if you get hungry.  shrug.gif  I don't really think it's an issue for most.


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Old 01-04-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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Hugs, mama!!   While I agree that it's very good to have healthy food at home during a birth (for everyone in attendance) there are many, many ways around this problem.   Make some soup and talk to your MW and all will be well.   But talk to them about this if you can.  It'll help them be more understanding and supportive while meeting their needs as well.  

 

Quote:


Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post

this conversation makes me want to run away and birth by myself.  I'm feeling so much anxiety.  over food.  leftover eating disorder issues.  uhhg.  Anyways I'm making the darn soup so it'll be fine I know. 




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Old 01-04-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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My midwives just request that we have a certain list of ingredients on hand, and then they make a delicious potato/vegetable soup for us during labor to have after baby is born. So although we have to be responsible to provide the ingredients, they take care of the main meal, which is so thoughtful and nice. I do, however, have a bunch of snacks on hand as well - granola bars, fruit, bottled drinks, etc. for the midwives as well as my family. 

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:04 PM
 
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I ask that people just have food in the house. I have been to a few births where there was NOTHING in the house because the couple ate out for every meal. That becomes an issue if it is one of those 24+ hour labors. There are only so many snacks I can pack and only so long I can go without food. But, it isn't like I need much... if there is cheese or yogurt or bread and peanut butter then I am a happy camper. I don't want my clients to go out of their way and prepare a feast for me or think that they need to play hostess, it is just nice to have a few food items in the house.

 

I think it is completely reasonable to discuss with your birth team that you cannot handle being around people while they eat and to do it away from you.


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Old 01-04-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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These seem like two very different things. You eating and them eating. You do need to eat during labor (to hunger and for stamina) if you can. Your uterus is a muscle and needs energy.

 

Your midwives need to eat as well. Most families have food in their house and we just make a sandwich or make whatever...nothing special at all. Just whatever you have. However, this seems to make you angry, which is what you should talk with them about. I have been at homebirths where I was there for 42 hours or more. Certainly any snacks I brought would be long gone, and I am not going to go without food for two days. However, if I would know going into it that a mom has issues with my eating her food, I would know ahead of time to bring my own food bag in preparation. This hasn't ever happened, but that doesn't mean it won't.

 

I have worked with women who have had eating disorders, and it was important that we knew what we could and couldn't offer her at her birth. Knowing this ahead of time make it easy to avoid making her think overly about what she was eating. She made her food and clearly labeled it so that we could be cautious and not disturb her by bringing up something that made her angry or anxious.

 

I am glad that you are going to talk with your midwives. I am sure that they will understand and be accommodating.


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Old 01-05-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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I don't think the majority of moms expect you to be a host and to provide meals and drinks. My MW's brought their own snacks and fluids, but I told them they could have anything in the kitchen and to help themselves. My MIL is a little Italan woman and she brought over noodles and home made sauce for everyone.


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Old 01-05-2011, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone.  It was just a trigger point for me so I had my little emotional breakdown and now I'm fine :)  I just found this recipe I look forward to making for labor: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2009/06/healthy-natural-pregnancy-laboraid-recipe.html


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Old 01-05-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that I couldn't stand the smell of food while I was in labor.  My husband left to heat up some beed stew and I puked when he brought it in the room.  I had to ask him to leave and still the smell ingered.  UGH.  I didn't know beforehand that it would be a problem, and that is the food we had agreed on.  Of course, none of us ate beef stew for months after the birth!! 

 

So I do NOT want anybody heating and/or eating anything hot while I am in labor this time.  I love the stories where the family bakes a cake for new baby, but I am afraid to even try it.  Something ready to be heated after labor would be fine.  But during, I'm planning yogurt, fruit, peanut butter, hummus, veggies.  It's all there, help yourselves.  Same goes for hubby and DD!

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Old 01-06-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fivehansens View Post

My midwives just request that we have a certain list of ingredients on hand, and then they make a delicious potato/vegetable soup for us during labor to have after baby is born. So although we have to be responsible to provide the ingredients, they take care of the main meal, which is so thoughtful and nice. I do, however, have a bunch of snacks on hand as well - granola bars, fruit, bottled drinks, etc. for the midwives as well as my family. 



What wonderful MWs! I totally love that idea! thumb.gif

 

I tend to have quick births, so food has never been an issue. Like everyone else said, we keep a stocked pantry and fridge and plenty of fruits/veggies around and homemade breads - whether I am preggo or not. So if someone is hungry, then help yourself!


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Old 01-06-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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I have had mws request to have snacks on hand for them so I got some trio bars, apple sauce and energy drinks for them.  Before recently it was a huge deal to do this.  Not only do I have a bunch of kids I have to hide that kind of stuff from, but we were on food stamps.  We had 1 fridge for 8, 9 people and we ran out of food all the time cause we had no place to put it.  We were constantly at the store. Not to mention I can not have food in front of me while I labor and I don't eat in labor (your digestion slows down, you get nauseous etc). But for my mws it was never an issue.  When I had long labors they left and ate dinner and saw a movie and came back and checked on me later.  If I were doing this today I would again set aside some snacks for them in my birth kit but thats about as far as I would go.


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Old 01-06-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Here's What I'm planning on having on hand in July:

 

Waffle Mix-Something to do during early labor. Waffles freeze well, and toast up quick and easy. Good meal topped with fruit especially if batter is whole grain. Smells pleasant.
Yogurt
Cheese Sticks
Bread
Eggs-Boiled, scrambled, Salad-ed...Beware of the smell though, but its quick and easy for others.
Almond Butter
Coconut Water-SUPER hydrator! Blend with Coconut Yogurt and freeze in popsicle molds.
Honey(Sticks?)-Quick energy
Watermelon-Lots of fluid/energy
Fruit salad stuff, canned fruit+Strawberries/Bananas/Apples/grapes (Yummy mixed with yogurt and or on top of the waffles)
Crackers-Helpful with empty stomach nausea.

 

Pasta Salad: Spiral Noodles, Italian dressing/seasoning. Carrots, Peas, Kidney Beans....Anything else you wanna throw in. Delicious Hot or Cold!
Meatloaf stuff-Because afterward, I always want a good hot hearty MEAL!


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Old 01-06-2011, 03:02 PM
 
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My 'soon to be' MW has it in her contract that her and her birth team need to have toothbrushes, toothpaste and a variety of healthy casseroles/cooked meals and snacks ready at my 35 week visit. I am a little put off by this and so is my DH. Not that we have to get this stuff, but we need all this ready so soon and it has to be a specific type of food. He feels that why should we keep on making fresh food each week while waiting to go into labor.As in, what a waste of food. He already finds her snobby anyway and this is just an extra thing. We are already pushing are funds to pay for this anyway in DH's eyes. It is a VBAC and I am wondering if it is worth it to even have her as my MW anymore because my DH and myself  included (a little bit anyway), find her somewhat stuck up. I really do not want to keep on cooking each week until my actual birth. Maybe I am wrong. I don't know.

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Old 01-06-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmama2011 View Post

My 'soon to be' MW has it in her contract that her and her birth team need to have toothbrushes, toothpaste and a variety of healthy casseroles/cooked meals and snacks ready at my 35 week visit. I am a little put off by this and so is my DH. Not that we have to get this stuff, but we need all this ready so soon and it has to be a specific type of food. He feels that why should we keep on making fresh food each week while waiting to go into labor.As in, what a waste of food. He already finds her snobby anyway and this is just an extra thing. We are already pushing are funds to pay for this anyway in DH's eyes. It is a VBAC and I am wondering if it is worth it to even have her as my MW anymore because my DH and myself  included (a little bit anyway), find her somewhat stuck up. I really do not want to keep on cooking each week until my actual birth. Maybe I am wrong. I don't know.

Oh that sound just ridiculous! Bring your own friggin toiletries!! If you're not already gonna be cooking fresh hot and healthy for yourselves don't you worry about doing it for her!!! Pizza delivers!nono02.gif
 


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