midwife bringing her child to my birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 67 Old 05-26-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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just wondering thoughts on this. my midwife is a DEM who works alone but brings a second one with her to births. the second one said she would have to bring her kid with her. he is 8 or 10 mo i think. at first i was ok with it bc i was figuring it would be just me and the doula and the first midwife in my room and the second would be sitting back for support or second opinions for the first. now i am wondering if that wont be distracting for me. 


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#2 of 67 Old 05-26-2012, 11:26 AM
 
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Hi!  During my last midwife appointment the same situation arose, so I figured I would chime in to your post.

 

If you have any reservations or second thoughts about having a child present then absolutely be proactive about making your opinion known.  Your birth space is yours and should be as comfortable as possible.

 

For me, I don't think that I will mind having a child present.  In fact, I think it might be helpful.  I figure if it gets irritating I will just ask her to leave -- it is my space and I can with it what I want.  When it comes to childbirth, I figure I just don't know how it's gonna go or what I will like -- so bring it on. 

 

Good luck to you!


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#3 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 04:02 PM
 
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this came up during my pregnancy also. i did not want a baby that wasn't mine at my house while i was in labor. i really very strongly felt against it. i didn't want to hear it crying and couldn't see how a woman could actually do the job of a midwife while taking care of a young baby. it was my midwife's apprentice who had the baby. after i talked about it with the midwife, we decided the apprentice wouldn't be coming. and that was that.

 

until i was in labor and felt like pushing...and my midwife was an hour away heading towards another birth! she called the apprentice who left her baby with her husband and came to handle things until my midwife could get here. (i had prodromal labor and didn't think it was real until i had to push.)

 

i know midwives bring babies to births, i just don't see how they can do more than observe. my last labor and birth were very difficult and i needed so much help, even physical help from 3 people! i know babies sleep, but it can't be timed and i have dogs who would be smelling and licking it and i was a mental mess about the whole thing. the apprentice turned out to be a wonderful doula and helped me push out my daughter when i was so terrified.


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#4 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 04:14 PM
 
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I think it is very unprofessional.

 

MW is there to take care of you and your baby. If she bring her child with her you will not get all the attention your deserve and paid.good money for.

 

I can;t imagine anyone in the hospital or clinic doing something likes this. They would be fired on the spot because if it unprofessional and frankly negligent..

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#5 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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I am not offended by the idea, I am sure there must be some women who would not mind, but I would not be okay with it. I do not want distractions,actually was really upset last birth cause the assistant kept getting texts and the noise was obnoxious. Ido not really see how the midiwfe thinks this is going to work though, the point of assitants I thought was in case of emergency there is extra hands, but she can not do that with baby in tow.

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#6 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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I would not be okay with it at all.

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#7 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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Very unprofessional. I would be quite upset.
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#8 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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This wouldn't bother me at all.  Especially if the midwife and I shared similar parenting styles.  I imagine she would be wearing her baby so she can have her hands free to support you.

 

But if it makes you uncomfortable, you should mention it to your midwife.  


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#9 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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I think it really depends on you - I can't imagine being distracted during birth. I mean, when I would want to be alone the baby won't make a difference...cuz I'll be alone. And, when the time comes for me to need/want support I'll be too absorbed to care about the baby being there. So, for me, and how my 2 births went I wouldn't mind. I think it's very sweet, actually.  


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#10 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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I don't know about that! I would like to think I'd say it was okay and that I wouldn't have a problem with it, but... when it comes down to it, there's no way the midwife could control her baby's disposition that day. And an 8-10 month-old is going to be wanting to crawl around and explore. What if they want to nurse during the pushing phase? There are so many what-ifs!

 

I think I would feel better about it if it weren't my first home birth, and if I already had a good idea about how my labors generally go. I would probably want to meet the baby beforehand. Make sure they're not crazy high-maintenance or something. haha

 

I also agree with another commenter about how it might be more okay if the midwife had similar parenting practices to mine. If her baby would be content to chill out in a mei tai back carry during the more intense times, I think things would be just fine.


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#11 of 67 Old 05-27-2012, 11:02 PM
 
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No way. So unprofessional. She needs to get a babysitter.

 

Even if she's wearing the baby, the baby is going to get in the way. What if you need her help and she's breastfeeding, changing a diaper, putting him down for a nap, etc, etc? UNACCEPTABLE.

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#12 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 01:25 AM
 
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Wow, talk about unprofessional and inappropriate! I can't believe she thinks this is OK, as it's can expose baby to the moms bodily fluids, and can be distracting. Just it's a good idea. I don't care if the baby is in a carrier, babies still cry, and poop, etc. no guarantee it won't fuss right when you need quiet, or distract her in an emergency.

Nope, not cool at all. Honestly, this would make me want a new provider- if she thinks this is OK, I would question her judgement overall. If an OB did this, everyone would cry "selfish, disrespectful" but its Ok for a MW? They aren't volunteers, you pay them, so they need to act lie a professional.
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#13 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 05:05 AM
 
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I don't think I'd mind an infant at my birth, personally. While they take some attention, I think there's so many ways the midwife could distract the baby(TV, baby swing, babywear, etc.) plus her being the 2nd midwife, I don't think it would be an issue for -me-. However, if you want the attention 100% on you, express this. If you say no to the child being there, they should respect that and she should have a babysitter lined up. 


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#14 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 06:03 AM
 
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I think it's unfortunate that even among a group of enlightened women there are so many cries of no way and unprofessional. It's sad that the pressure society puts on women to separate motherhood from their professional life is that insipid. If mothers can bring their daughters with them to vote in parliament maybe it's time to relax our image of professional.

Op, if it bothers you say no, obviously. Ultimately the choice should be yours for your birth.
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#15 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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remember this lady is the 2nd midwife. there for support and second opinions for the first midwife. she will have little to do with the actual birth unless more hands are needed. but i have a doula as well. 


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#16 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 08:21 AM
 
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Personally it wouldn't bother me.
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#17 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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This would not bother me at all. For my second birth my doula/laboyr support (now a midwife) brought her three year old daughter. She was awesome and in fact, kept my not yet two year old entertained. I have invited her to this next birth too if she wants to come. She is seven now.

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#18 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with it being a planned thing. However, I accept the possibility of kids being along when hiring someone with kids to be 24/7 on-call. There are going to be times when even the best childcare plans fall through when dealing with something like labor, and I'd rather she be there with kid(s) in tow than spend a lot of time trying to work out childcare.


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#19 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 09:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

I think it's unfortunate that even among a group of enlightened women there are so many cries of no way and unprofessional. It's sad that the pressure society puts on women to separate motherhood from their professional life is that insipid. If mothers can bring their daughters with them to vote in parliament maybe it's time to relax our image of professional.
Op, if it bothers you say no, obviously. Ultimately the choice should be yours for your birth.

 

Yeah, except that those women going into Parliament aren't going to be needed in a possible emergency situation (not that that is very likely, but it COULD). Can you imagine, the first midwife needs her help, and she's like, "hold on, my baby is crying and needs to be fed".....really?

 

Does she have a husband/partner? Can't s/he take the baby? Grandparents? Aunts? Uncles? Friends? Etc?

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#20 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 09:55 AM
 
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You really think she would say that in an emergency? If so the issue is she's incompetent not that her kid is there.

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#21 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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This is what I'm talking about, though, the subtle assumption that her role as a mother makes her unable to do her job. Why not assume she knows her own role, her own child, and her own abilities well enough to know whether or not she can manage to do her job with her child there?
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#22 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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Wow, talk about unprofessional and inappropriate! I can't believe she thinks this is OK, as it's can expose baby to the moms bodily fluids, and can be distracting. Just it's a good idea. I don't care if the baby is in a carrier, babies still cry, and poop, etc. no guarantee it won't fuss right when you need quiet, or distract her in an emergency.
Nope, not cool at all. Honestly, this would make me want a new provider- if she thinks this is OK, I would question her judgement overall. If an OB did this, everyone would cry "selfish, disrespectful" but its Ok for a MW? They aren't volunteers, you pay them, so they need to act lie a professional.

I completely agree.

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#23 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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I have two relevant experiences to share. 

 

1)  There are awesome pictures of my brother's home birth when I was 16 months old.  At least one of the midwives had a baby with her.  I think that through much of human history, it would have been very common for women with babies to be present at other women's births.  It just seems . . . normal to me.  Where it starts to seem strange is when our current culture comes into it in two ways.  One is that throughout history, 'the midwife' and the other women around a birthing woman would have been people the birthing mama knew, and probably knew well.  In our culture, oftentimes a midwife is someone we only know because we are contracting for specific services.  We don't really know her or her baby.  The other is that separation of professionalism and family.  In farm cultures or hunter gatherer societies do you think the 'professionals' went about their work without their children nearby?  Of course not.  Everybody worked; everybody helped take care of the kids; ergo, there were kids wherever there were workers, unless there were some really dangerous situation to keep the kids away from.  Honestly, if a midwife had her baby with her at a birth of mine, I'd expect that she'd put her baby down and let it cry if there were an emergency where she needed to put out 100% attention for me or my baby.  It would survive.  As a mother of several kids, and someone who has worked while caring for a baby, I know that there ARE times to prioritize something else over my baby's care.  Not lots of times, but there are some.

 

2) I was a sibling doula for a homebirth when my youngest was about that age (11 months or so).  I just was really clear with the client that I could do this for them if I could bring my baby, who was used to older kids around because she has two big brothers.  We agreed on it together.  It turned out fine - it was a night birth and my daughter actually slept almost the entire time and so did the sibling I was doula-ing.  I stayed in another room where I could listen for the sibling, laid my baby on a blanket on the floor to sleep, and read.  It could have been more complicated, certainly, but honestly?  She was used to not always getting what she wanted instantaneously, and would have been fine if I needed to wear her and deal with the sibling.

 

OP, I think it's totally your call and you should do what you feel comfortable with.  But my guess is that it would be fine to allow the baby to come - and if you have doubts about how it would turn out, you could always request that the 2nd mw have a plan B in case baby is there and it's not working for you.

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#24 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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I'm suprised at the number of negative responses. I'm a student midwife and will have a newborn here soon in a few days or week. The plan is for the baby to go to births with me until he/she reaches an age where they need to be left home with dad. The plan is for me to wear the baby, probably on my back, unless they need to nurse.

 

From what I've heard, midwives bringing their babies with them to births isn't uncommon in my area. Clients are asked about it beforehand, and if they're not comfortable with it (at least in my case), then I wouldn't be able to attend the birth.

 

And obviously if it's an emergency, the baby's needs come second. I was shocked that a poster thought that the second midwife wouldn't help in an emergency if her baby needed something.


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#25 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 05:16 PM
 
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I don't want the dentist to have her baby there while she's drilling my teeth, or the electrician slinging a baby around while he's rewiring my house. I don't want my doctor distracted by a baby while she's consulting with me about my symptoms. And if I'm paying someone several thousand dollars to attend my birth, I definitely want her focused on me and my care, not on her baby, not even peripherally. She can woman up and get a babysitter the way the rest of us do when we are in professional situations.

Are there some jobs where bringing a baby in is feasible? Absolutely. But this isn't one of them.
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#26 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 05:34 PM
 
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I don't want the dentist to have her baby there while she's drilling my teeth, or the electrician slinging a baby around while he's rewiring my house. I don't want my doctor distracted by a baby while she's consulting with me about my symptoms. And if I'm paying someone several thousand dollars to attend my birth, I definitely want her focused on me and my care, not on her baby, not even peripherally. She can woman up and get a babysitter the way the rest of us do when we are in professional situations.
Are there some jobs where bringing a baby in is feasible? Absolutely. But this isn't one of them.


Thank you! You summed it up perfectly.
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#27 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 06:08 PM
 
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I don't want the dentist to have her baby there while she's drilling my teeth, or the electrician slinging a baby around while he's rewiring my house. I don't want my doctor distracted by a baby while she's consulting with me about my symptoms. And if I'm paying someone several thousand dollars to attend my birth, I definitely want her focused on me and my care, not on her baby, not even peripherally. She can woman up and get a babysitter the way the rest of us do when we are in professional situations.
Are there some jobs where bringing a baby in is feasible? Absolutely. But this isn't one of them.

The big difference being that dentists have set office hours. If my dentist wasn't able to find emergency childcare to cover a middle of the night drilling because her normal any-hours babysitter was sick and her DH was out of town, I'd be totally understanding if she brought her baby along.

 

The being on-call 24/7 is a key difference between homebirth midwifery and most other professions. I would never take my child to work (I work in healthcare). However, I know my work schedule well in advance, and have the option of calling in sick/FMLA if something unavoidable comes up.


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#28 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 07:45 PM
 
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I'm suprised at the number of negative responses. I'm a student midwife and will have a newborn here soon in a few days or week. The plan is for the baby to go to births with me until he/she reaches an age where they need to be left home with dad. The plan is for me to wear the baby, probably on my back, unless they need to nurse.

 

From what I've heard, midwives bringing their babies with them to births isn't uncommon in my area. Clients are asked about it beforehand, and if they're not comfortable with it (at least in my case), then I wouldn't be able to attend the birth.

 

And obviously if it's an emergency, the baby's needs come second. I was shocked that a poster thought that the second midwife wouldn't help in an emergency if her baby needed something.

I'm shocked that you think it would be OK to ignore your baby's needs (as you stated you would in an emergency) just so that you can attend a few more births.  Women should and deserve to slow down in the early months and just worry about themselves and their babies.  That's the advice I got from my midwife.  I guess some midwives don't follow their own advice.  


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#29 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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I actually asked that my MW's apprentice not attend my second birth because she would only come with her child. This was different because I actually knew this women personally and wasn't entirely sure I wanted her there in the first place and then the child was not a young baby, he was 2 then if I remember correctly. Now my MW for my last two births had a baby for my last birth and I was fine if she had brought her. In the end though, I called her in the middle of the night, she came here and was back home with a 1.5 drive on either side before the child ever woke up.

While I am not a MW, I am a IBCLC and due to the nature of the last minute, "I need bfing help today" calls, I often bring my children with me on home visits. Older children, only if I can not find any care at all which does happen. I have been known to wear my 2 year on my back during a home visit. I always let the moms know a head of time so they can refuse but since I am the only IBCLC in this clinic, it is me or no one (I provide free care to any of our moms, all of which are low-income). Any baby under 12 months of mine always come though due to needing frequent nursing and the rural area I serve, a mom could easily be 40+ miles away. It isn't always possible to find last minute child care, the other option is to pay an on call sitter in case you get a call which erases any money at all. I am on call 24/7, 365 days a year so again not an real option. Is this ideal, no. But since I do not always get a week's notice for a visit or the the ability to schedule regular childcare for say every Monday and Wed mornings, I do what I have to do in order to be a mother and still work.


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#30 of 67 Old 05-28-2012, 08:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peony View Post

I actually asked that my MW's apprentice not attend my second birth because she would only come with her child. This was different because I actually knew this women personally and wasn't entirely sure I wanted her there in the first place and then the child was not a young baby, he was 2 then if I remember correctly. Now my MW for my last two births had a baby for my last birth and I was fine if she had brought her. In the end though, I called her in the middle of the night, she came here and was back home with a 1.5 drive on either side before the child ever woke up.


While I am not a MW, I am a IBCLC and due to the nature of the last minute, "I need bfing help today" calls, I often bring my children with me on home visits. Older children, only if I can not find any care at all which does happen. I have been known to wear my 2 year on my back during a home visit. I always let the moms know a head of time so they can refuse but since I am the only IBCLC in this clinic, it is me or no one (I provide free care to any of our moms, all of which are low-income). Any baby under 12 months of mine always come though due to needing frequent nursing and the rural area I serve, a mom could easily be 40+ miles away. It isn't always possible to find last minute child care, the other option is to pay an on call sitter in case you get a call which erases any money at all. I am on call 24/7, 365 days a year so again not an real option. Is this ideal, no. But since I do not always get a week's notice for a visit or the the ability to schedule regular childcare for say every Monday and Wed mornings, I do what I have to do in order to be a mother and still work.

Nursing consult calls are not "life and death" situations in which ... if your attention flickers back to your child.. you might miss something going on with your client. A birthing mom deserves every second of her professional's paid attention. Taking your possible nursling on a nursing call is in no way the same.
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