Has your midwife kept in touch? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Almost 3 wks. pp and I haven't heard anything from my midwife? I'm doing fine, but I guess I just expected her to check in on me, at least over the phone. I had a hospital birth, and she didn't make it there in time, so I gave birth with the on call doctor (didn't matter who caught the baby at that point! she was flying out!). I wonder if that's why she hasn't called me? Maybe she thinks the doctor's taking care of it? Although, that's just silly because I had all of my prenatal visits with her. I don't know, I guess I thought we had some kind of a friendship/closeness, and I'm a little hurt that she hasn't called to check in on me.

Yesterday I got a call from her office, but it was just a member of the office staff and she couldn't answer any of my ??'s. I don't have any burning questions, but at this point I don't want to call out of principle! Maybe I should call her and just mention that I thought I'd hear from her by now? I'm going to be seeing her for pp visits and thought I'd probably use her for subsequent births, but this is sort of discouraging.

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#2 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 11:20 AM
 
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yes, but shes a homebirth midwife. I personally wouldnt expect it from any hospital midwives,..nak

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#3 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by DoulaMommy
yes, but shes a homebirth midwife. I personally wouldnt expect it from any hospital midwives,..nak
Yeah? Maybe I expected too much. But, she was really sweet before the birth, and even took me over to the hospital to meet the back up midwife, and would call and check in on me at home.

I'm wondering if I should call her, or just leave it alone. Maybe I'm being too sensitive. Damn postpartum hormones!
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#4 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 11:43 AM
 
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Hi,

I had this same issue with my midwife with my last pregnancy (and I'm preggers again and working with her for this one, too, so I wonder about this subject, myself).

After the hospital birth of my daughter, my midwife called the next day (I was still in the hospital) and then I never heard from her again. (She is also a homebirth midwife and beloved in the community, for sure). I did see her at the six week check up, and I had called her for dd having reflux in the first months of life, but she never contacted me after the birth, which I think contributed to my postpartum depression--I was grieving for her (but I know this was not the exclusive reason for the depression), now that I look back.

I think that midwives definitely understand the importance of the emotional connection between women--and its significance in the outcomes and health of mama and baby. SO... I think connecting in the postpartum period is just as needed.

I DO understand they are busy with other births, prenatal visits, etc. but I would like to see the midwifery model of care extend into the 6 weeks postpartum period.

The six weeks (or 40 days: a deliberate, sacred number) is a very holy, sensitive and precious time. As a woman, having made a connection with a midwife for nine months and birthing with her (at home or in the hospital) is a very intimite experience that we share with them.

Everybody wants to be contacted "the morning after" an intimite experience and every woman needs to know it is not just "over" / less important to the midwife after the baby is out!!!

Don't devalue your feelings. Postpartum hormones or not, your heart has made an intimite connection with another human being, during a holy period in your life, and your feelings are totally natural.

Blessings to you and your sweet family,
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#5 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by beansavi
Hi,

I had this same issue with my midwife with my last pregnancy (and I'm preggers again and working with her for this one, too, so I wonder about this subject, myself).

After the hospital birth of my daughter, my midwife called the next day (I was still in the hospital) and then I never heard from her again. (She is also a homebirth midwife and beloved in the community, for sure). I did see her at the six week check up, and I had called her for dd having reflux in the first months of life, but she never contacted me after the birth, which I think contributed to my postpartum depression--I was grieving for her (but I know this was not the exclusive reason for the depression), now that I look back.

I think that midwives definitely understand the importance of the emotional connection between women--and its significance in the outcomes and health of mama and baby. SO... I think connecting in the postpartum period is just as needed.

I DO understand they are busy with other births, prenatal visits, etc. but I would like to see the midwifery model of care extend into the 6 weeks postpartum period.

The six weeks (or 40 days: a deliberate, sacred number) is a very holy, sensitive and precious time. As a woman, having made a connection with a midwife for nine months and birthing with her (at home or in the hospital) is a very intimite experience that we share with them.

Everybody wants to be contacted "the morning after" an intimite experience and every woman needs to know it is not just "over" / less important to the midwife after the baby is out!!!

Don't devalue your feelings. Postpartum hormones or not, your heart has made an intimite connection with another human being, during a holy period in your life, and your feelings are totally natural.

Blessings to you and your sweet family,
I definitely think you hit the nail on the head. I feel we had a connection, and feel kind of "dropped" since the baby has been born. So, I think I'm grieving for her. Midwife, by definition, means "with woman". So, you'd think, hospital-based or not, that she would understand that I need some sort of support from her post-partum. Even if it was a simple phone call, I would have appreciated that. The fact that someone from the office called me to check in, instead of her, that I would have expected if I was using a Doctor, but not with a midwife. I feel like I'm developing a bit of pp depression and feel she might have been able to prevent or at least ease this a bit with some personal attention.

She did come in twice and check on me when I was in the hospital, but after that, nothing. I can't decide whether to call her or wait it out, and see if she eventually takes the initiative.

Thanks for making me feel validated. That really helped me sort out my feelings.
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#6 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 12:11 PM
 
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What you are feeling is normal, and it's been written about in other places. There is an essay online somewhere criticizing the practice of paid midwifery for this very reason--that it is an emotional relationship for the expecting mother and less so for the midwife, who has no reason to continue the relationship after the birth. However I don't think we have a good alternative in our culture, and I think it's just reality that a midwife can't continue an ongoing friendship with every mother whose birth she attends.

There are some parallels in other professions...people can grow very close to their therapists and find it very hard to end that type of relationship, even if they've done all the "work" they needed to do.

I agree with beansavi about the 6-week pp visit. The birth center I delivered at included this final visit as part of their care, and it was a wonderful opportunity for me to spend time with my midwife and say goodbye.

I'm sorry you're feeling sad.
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#7 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 12:25 PM
 
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Lisa
My midwife (hospital based) visited me in the hospital and called me once at home and then I had my 6 week check with her, but I still miss her. I went through a very important phase in my life with her and it feels odds sometimes that I don't see her now. I definately think there are grieving issues.
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#8 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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My midwives came over the very next day after dd was born, then I think 2 days later. Then I went to their offices at one week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks. I still miss them and it's been 8 months! I ran into their apprentice, who was at Ingrid's birth when dd was about 5 or 6 months. I gave her a big hug and couldn't contain my excitement! Just the other day I saw one of the midwives dh's, whom I knew as a casual acquaintance even before I was pregnant. (shop at the same grocery stores, same ethnicity and we're minorities in our area, children similar ages) I didn't know his dw, or that she was a mw until she mentioned her dh in a conversation and it all clicked. But when I saw him the other day, I urged him to say hello from me and the family.
A friend of mine who lives around the corner is having a hb with the same mw's. I'm hoping she invited them to her Mother Blessing. I would love to see them again!
DD1 was born in a hospital w/a CNM. She came by the next morning after dd was born, and I didn't see her until the 6 week appt. 4 years later when I was in nursing school I got to shadow her during her office hours. I still have a soft spot for her, too.
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#9 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 01:15 PM
 
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I had the same feelings about my doctor with my sons birth. I was seeing a family practice doctor, and she was wonderful. I was 18, and a little scared in the beginning. But after asking her a few questions, after doing a little research, she answerd my questions with confidence, and didn't lie to me. She also encouraged me to keep researching to find what was best for me and my baby.

I was in the hospital on 9-20 for an NST, and she called ..then I was back on 9-22, she was there for the beginning of that NST, but it was her daughters 1st birthday, so she left after a while. Then on 9-24 she was going home from being in L&D all night (military hospital, she was 'on call' and it was apparently a busy night) and she'd stopped in her office to review lab sheets on me and a few other patients...and my labs had come back with high traces of protine, so she needed me to come be induced. But since she'd been up all night on call, she couldn't be there. I was sad about that and didn't know anyone who was taking care of me. But she did stop by PP when she came back on duty, and it was nice to see her. After that I only saw her for my son's well check appointments, we decided to keep him in family practice. Even after my homebirth expereince I would still love if she were my doctor (though not for birthing ) but was a little sad that she didn't call to check on me at home in the PP period. So I do understand where you are coming from.

I am very thankful to have my MW. She called me the day Kate was born (about 8 hours or so after leaving my house), then she called the following day. Came out to the house on day 3...and I called her day 4. Then I called her again last week. She'll be back out here on the 20th for our 6 wk pp check up...After that...I hope to be attending some births with her in the future, and attending some Georgia Friends of Midwives meetings maybe!

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#10 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 02:03 PM
 
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I had a hospital birth as well, but I still got the post partum care that I would have had had I birthed at the birth center. I had four home visits, and they called alot the first 2 weeks or so. This week they have backed off a bit, which is okay with me.

My midwives do post partum visits. I just had one yesterday. I'm unsure if I'll be seeing them for my 6 week appt though. I may have to have a few tests run and am thinking of getting an IUD put in. So I might have to go to the Dr for that. (Bah!)

I don't think after that I'll have much contact with them.
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#11 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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I'm really surprised to hear that this is so common. Perhaps it's a difference between Canada and the States as well. My midwives did daily pp visits in my home for the first 4 days and then another on day 7. We have two visits in their clinic for week 3 and week 6 and both midwives stressed that I could call at any time with questions.

I was under the impression that one of the many advantages of going with midwifery was the extra care postpartum.

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#12 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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A nurse (who assisted the mws after Coren's birth) came to visit me the day after Coren was born, one of my midwives came 4 days after his birth, and I had a 2 week checkup at their office (the appointment was with one midwife, but the other came also to see how we were doing). I'll also have a 6 week checkup at their office. One midwife did call to see how I was doing, but I'm not expecting them to call, as this is my fourth child and they know if I need anything I'll call them. I was pretty much back to normal 2 weeks postpartum, so there's no checking up that they really need to do!

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#13 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 07:30 PM
 
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I was very blessed. After my homebirth, my midwives called at 12 hours, visited at 24, came back at day 3, day 5, day 7, day 10, 2 weeks, 3 weeks and then I went to her for my 6 week pp exam. She also made it very clear that she was on call to me during that entire time. I knew of their practice's superb postpartum care and this was a major factor in my decision to choose them.

As a student midwife, the practice I was in would do home visits at 24 and 72 hours, then office visits at 2 & 6 weeks. The midwives would be on call during this period and there was always a welcome to schedule visits any time after the 6 week pp, too.
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#14 of 19 Old 10-07-2005, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanx for the support girls. It's a shame that this is so common. I think I'll call her about the PPD, maybe that will make me feel better.
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#15 of 19 Old 10-08-2005, 03:14 AM
 
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Well one came by on the 2nd day but after that only when I call. I am supposed to come in between 6 & 8 weeks PP.
They also offer a 2 week visit if I wanted it, but I didn't.
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#16 of 19 Old 10-08-2005, 11:20 AM
 
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I've lurked here, and I just came across your thread and had to respond. I had a planned HBAC, but after a very long labor and hours of pushing, we transferred to the hospital. My midwife didn't come with me, which we knew would happen. I called her from the hospital after my c/s and she was very short with me, maybe she was sleeping though. But she hasn't called to check up on me since and it really hurts. I know the birth didn't end the way we expected, and that's why I needed her even more. It took a lot for me to trust her and she was like a close friend, I was trusting her with my life and my baby's... then she's just gone. I'm very disappointed over my birth, she did some things I didn't like (VE with every ctx even after I begged her not to), after we transferred to the hospital, I kept pushing for at least another hour, but the baby never moved down, so we did a RCS. I have been going through all the what ifs with that. But most of all, it hurts that she hasn't called to check up on me.
So I just wanted to say I know how you feel - *hugs* - it's also nice to know someone else feels the same way as I thought I was completely silly for feeling like that...

~S~ Mom to W ('04) & D ('05) & in April
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#17 of 19 Old 12-11-2005, 11:50 PM
 
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This thread was pointed out to me today, so I thought I might respond even though it is ages old.

In my own practice, I call the mom at 12 hours pp, go to their home on days 1 and 3, see them in my office (sometimes in their home) at 2 weeks, at the office at 6 weeks, again at 3 months and then we have an "outing" to get the birth certificate and that, many times, turns into a lunch together.

I describe midwifery care like this: Picture a spiral going inward... we (midwives/caregivers/family members) are wayyyyy out, but as the pregnancy advances, the spiral goes inward towards the mom who is at the center of the spiral. The pace picks up as prenatal visits come more frequently and then in labor, even faster, and by the time the birth is occuring (the actual birth of the baby), almost every person present is physically touching the mother - if not physically, definitely psychically. Then, the moment the baby is born, the spiral begins moving outward again... all of us on the periphery move outward slowly at first until by 2 weeks pp, most of us have left the new family to themselves again. I feel midwives "wean" from their clients as much as clients from midwives.

I know that many midwives do not want to appear as know-it-alls, hovering around telling a new family what to and not to do. I have heard moms tell me that their former midwife had something to say about everything and how annoying that was at times, that they wanted to learn some things for themselves. I believe that message was transmitted to many of us and I know that I hesitate "touching base" all the time if there is no reciprocation - am I bugging them?

I *just* told my apprentice today that as much as I would love to be friends with clients... as much as I thought we would be social friends after the birth... *rarely* does that come to fruition. Is it busy-ness? That they have new babies and mine are adults? That their lives continue while I move on to new families? Is it an aspect I hadn't anticipated having to teach about? (I have known this phenomenon in doula and LLL work, too.)

Alllllll that said... I *also* know, all too well, midwives who have seriously abandoned their clients. Another student midwife and I used to defy our mentor midwife's "orders" to NOT go see women who transferred/transported to the hospital when they were still in the hospital. She did not seem to understand the word "abandon" and despite my *telling* her that the women asked for her specifically, she refused to visit until they were home. I *always* visit my moms in the hospital - asap pp (after having transported with them and remaining hours pp... I return 12-20 hours pp again) - because sometimes it is these women who need to talk out so many of the disappointments and so much of the pain. I have gone to other midwives' clients when I heard their midwife didn't want to go. One midwife had a client transfer 24 hrs pp with sepsis and the mw called me and said she didn't have "time," could I go sit with her? I dragged my hanging open jaw all the way there, baffled at how a MIDWIFE could not go tend to her own client.

I also know that some women are in shock and unable to talk about it all at the time. What might be my clarity is certainly not her perception... sometimes for months. I *always* *always* make sure clients know they can call me/email me ANYTIME, day or night, even years down the road... that if they think of a question twice they want to ask, that means it is a message to call or email.

I know that MANY midwives are not comfortable *at all* in hospitals. It is foreign land to them and they despise the countryside. I, however, spent a great deal of my doula learning in hospitals and birth centers and am equally "fluent" in all three possible birth locations (including home). I know that this makes a huge difference - for my clients especially.

I do not have ANY tolerance for midwives who abandon their clients either in the hospital or postpartum. It drives me batty and I just do not understand it at all. I make *sure* to teach any students I work with, teach, or apprentice that this is so unacceptable that I don't care if every midwife in the Universe doesn't see the woman but once in the office at 6 wks pp... that is just not right.

A midwife who turns her back on a woman is probably scared of something... being turned in for transporting, being sued for doing (or not doing) something, so infantile in her own evolution that she cannot pull her head out of her butt enough to TALK to the client, to LISTEN to the client and her pain and fears and concerns and sadness... to CRY with her, hold her... face to face, and act like an adult, or just amazingly ignorant of how her client feels (I think this option is the least likely, btw).

And one small note about when *I* (we) reach out and hear nothing back. (I'll leave it at that.) It's hard on this end, too.

I am pained by what I read here - of the frequency of this happening. How sad... such a sad state of midwifery un-care. I pray it doesn't have anything to do with economics and haven't heard anything like that even behind closed doors, but I wouldn't put *anything* past midwives sometimes.

I'm sorry for all of you women left without resolution. It is a major reason I am going to school working towards a degree in Psychology with a focus in birth trauma - traumas such as this included. Don't discount your feelings, beautiful women. You are right; it is abandonment.

Barb Herrera
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#18 of 19 Old 12-13-2005, 03:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by veggiekicks
I was very blessed. After my homebirth, my midwives called at 12 hours, visited at 24, came back at day 3, day 5, day 7, day 10, 2 weeks, 3 weeks and then I went to her for my 6 week pp exam. She also made it very clear that she was on call to me during that entire time.

.
this is what we do unless moms don't want as much contact and some experienced moms or moms with bigger support networks don't want as much contact.

---------
to the OP I think you should go ahead and try to contact this midwife again, if she doesn't respond you-- consider sending her a note that reads like the question/statement you posted here.... maybe she has been doing this for years or maybe it is something new- I have no way of knowing why this has happened. I personally would want some clear communication from a client about my oversight or how I have missed meeting their needs. This is as important to me as any praise I may receive. I have seen one honest statement from a client be worth 100 complaints from co-workers or apprentices(who maybe dismissed from because of inexperience)
take care
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#19 of 19 Old 12-13-2005, 10:18 AM
 
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My mw has made it very clear that she is there for me. I feel comfortable calling her with questions - even have called her with questions unrelated to dd's birth
She shows an interest in how I'm doing and dd as well. I am 2 mos. pp, and we're still in touch. I expect we will be for a long time.

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