Heart and Hands is NOT a low intervention book! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 10-21-2013, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone read this book? I just borrowed the updated edition from the midwife's office. Holy crap! I mean seriously ridiculous. All it did was make me stress and leave me with a huge sense of disappointment. It struck me that nowhere in the book does it convey a sense of trust in birth, it's all about complications such as hemorrhage and how to intervene even in the most basic things that happen in labor and birth! Yet on the back cover it talks about how midwives will enjoy it because it advocates low intervention. Yeah right! If that's low intervention, I don't want to know what high is! I did learn a couple of things I guess, such as using fresh ginger to treat after birth pains. But apart from that, it was just a source of stress and disappointment. And I didn't even read the whole book just excerpts and skimmed through. It was all do this check this worry about that chart that, stick your hands or fingers in there, time this, inject that, fear fear and more fear. Get lost!

I can't wait for my UC. I've had enough of playing their games. I had two big babies already, posterior positioned, tons of back labor, with no drugs, yet it was stress filled and constantly monitored and their attempt to pressure me into interventions. Fear mongering about me going past my due date, and making me go to the hospital last time for no reason, not believing my due date, but some stupid ultrasound. Not understanding that my kids are very developed from the time of conception. If it were up to them I would have had a c section because according to the head medwife, I had "exceeded my physical limitations" and she didn't think the baby would come any farther down. I had a nine pound 1 oz baby a few days later. But my husband missed the birth because he had to get our other son from daycare to bring him to the babysitter's. This time, our kids and my husband will be present, and barring any true emergencies, nothing can change my mind about being at home. I'm just playing the game in terms of getting prenatal care and then oops the baby came too fast LOL. If it weren't for me being a professional in the community, I wouldn't even get prenatal care. And each time I go in for an appointment, I just want to scream at her because she keeps saying well i hope you can have your homebirth this time, I really pray for it for you, but we will see how things go, we'll do the best we can, and take it as far as we can. She doesn't get it when I tell her that unless I am on death's door I won't be going to the hospital. I could not care less about their rules and guideliness and the cover your ass mentality they have. I'm putting myself and my baby and my family first. I know even more than I knew last time and I'm so outside the box right now that they can't influence me in any way. I just have to stay strong. I'm obviously more than capable of enduring great pain and able to birth big babies. And they never respect my wishes, always injecting me with pitocin after the birth even when I'm refusing it and they know ahead of time, and cutting the cord when it's still pulsing for various ridiculous "reasons". I'm done with it.
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#2 of 20 Old 10-21-2013, 04:48 PM
 
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Heart and Hands is a mere reference book, if you ask me.  With its limited information, it does appear to be a very hands-on approach, despite its claims otherwise.  Midwifery books written by Anne Frye are very detailed, thorough, and nearly complete in all you may ever need to know as a home birth midwife.  Due to how thorough Anne Frye's books are, they certainly feel more hands-off, because there is much more information presented.

I am sorry to hear about your previous and current experiences.  Your current midwife sounds much too stressful for you and perhaps finding a new one would be a better fit for you?  You can always do your own prenatal care, as well.

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#3 of 20 Old 10-21-2013, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your response. I guess for midwives it might be a good book, in the event they do encounter these situations. Perhaps its not a good book for parents, although it claims that it is. I just didn't like the tone, it was very much fear based.

As for my current midwife, there are two groups of midwives in the city I live in, and both have long waiting lists. The only way I got in for certain was because I have been a client twice before. Once you are their client once, you get fast track subsequent times. Midwives in Ontario are licensed by the province, so they have to adhere to specific rules and regulations. As the years have gone on, I've found them to be more and more like the OB's they fought against so long ago. The head medwife LOL used to be a nurse. She was the nasty one last time and she even told my baby would die if I didn't go to hospital to get a c section. Meanwhile, his heartbeat and movements were strong and the non stress test was perfect, and I hadn't yet had much of a cervical change so why rush things. He is a super strong and healthy boy. So anyway even if I switch midwives, they are basically agents of the state so to speak, and another one won't be much different. Some of their manner may be different, for instance there is another midwife in the practice which I like more, but when it comes down to it, the rules and regulations are the same and they are fear based.

I didn't do my own prenatal care because I work for a child protection agency. So, if I ever did end up in hospital, they'd file a report on me and I'd end up being investigated for child neglect by my own agency. That's a stress I wish to avoid.
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#4 of 20 Old 10-21-2013, 11:10 PM
 
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I don't know anything about that book but I definitely agree that only reading positive, empowering material for parents is best. Also, I was going to a birth center for this pregnancy for the first few months. and I also researched other midwives in my area. it seemed to me that they are still all bound by standard procedures as well. at the birth center they said I HAVE to go to all their required appointments, they wanted to run all their tests, said they would be doing pertussis immunization. i told her i didnt want it and she basically said why?? u cant believe everything you read online and so on. i didnt feel like i truly have control over my pregnancy and birth. so, i emailed them and told them I wont be coming back and to cancel my future appointments. looking forward to my first uc in december. good luck to you and your birth as well! I'm sure all will go just fine! u really think you'd have a problem with your job though? its not illegal to opt out of prenatal care and assisted birthing so how could it even get reported?

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#5 of 20 Old 10-22-2013, 11:14 AM
 
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I guess I wasnt so surprised at the medical bent...it is a "teaching" type book, so it makes sense that variations within and outside of normal would be discussed. I do agree it wasnt the emotional uplift I was hoping for, in the empowering, you've totally got this kind of way, but I found it worth my read anyways just to be able to bookmark a few things that my dh was especially concerned about so he could put his mind at ease a bit. I guess even for myself some brush up on practical knowledge wasnt an unwelcome addition to my preparations. Also agree that the dry/medical stuff needs to be heavily supplemented with rich, raw, personal stories of birth to really feed your soul and connect you to the energy you will draw on throughout your own experience.

It's too bad you feel you need to continue the facade of prenatals with the midwife group although I totally understand why you do. If it were me, I'd probably adopt the nod and smile approach to just get through the appointments without investing too much energy in the situation, and then continue my pregnancy as if I weren't going at all by monitoring myself the things I felt necessary. Hopefully you can strike an acceptable balance there sooner rather than later.
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#6 of 20 Old 10-22-2013, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, they were trying to get you to do shots during your pregnancy? Or is this shots for the baby? Neither one is good obviously. I'm glad you felt the freedom to just opt out and not go back. I wish I could do the same.

Yes I think I would have a problem with my job. At the very least, they would come out to investigate and I'd have to go through the rigamarole as to why I stopped prenatal care. Especially if God forbid I ended up with any problems or the baby did. It is reportable in this area, because basically they question the mother's judgement and whether she is endangering her baby or not. Funny how they don't investigate those people who go in to hospitals blindly and get every intervention known to man as well as every vaccination for their baby without questioning what is in it. Sigh...I work for the system and I can't change it although I do voice my opinion for time to time on important issues such as babywearing and cosleeping, which they discourage and frown upon and think its a huge risk. I disagree, although that depends on the individual and their circumstances (ie if a mom is heavier or is taking drugs or prescriptions, then cosleeping would not be safe).
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#7 of 20 Old 10-22-2013, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes you're right its a medical book, although when it said it was for parents also I didn't expect it to be so crazily technical. Kind of horrifying actually when they think this is all necessary.

I am trying to take the nod and smile approach but sometimes its hard not to argue with them. Because I still do want to keep the option of calling them open in the even we feel its necessary for whatever reason. At minimum it will be nice to have them come after the birth and check the baby out. I still haven't decided if I am going to do the heel stick test and all that crap they insist on. I did have it done with the other two and was horrified each time.

Today I got a call from their student midwife. I had been refusing bloodwork until now and I was straight with them regarding why. Because one I don't think its helpful, and two, I don't want to give them any more information that I have to for them to risk me out, because I am finding they have way too many rules and regulations. For instance, I have a genetic type of anemia, which they know about. Not much I can do about it nutritionally, although I can improve it slightly. As a matter of fact, iron is usually not recommended for the beta thalassemia trait. Well I haven't been able to tolerate iron much during this pregnancy although I did fine with the other two. Well she called today to advise me that my hemoglobin is at 96 when it should be a minimum of 100, and if we don't get it back up, it won't be safe to have my homebirth. I said to her you know what, there's always something you guys find to try to risk women out. I've told my regular midwife that if I can't have a homebirth, when I've had two natural births with two 9 lb posterior babies, then I don't know who is having a homebirth, because every woman is different and there will always be something you can use to risk out. So now they want me to take this iron which is supposed to have fewer side effects and get absorbed better. And to stop taking the Floravit I just started taking. And have another blood draw. I have told the midwife before I'm only doing this once, now they want me to get stuck again and I've got a needle phobia, almost passed out last week when she was taking blood. Well I guess its good info to have for myself as to where my iron/hemoglobin levels are at. But, as I explained to her, there is only so much iron that my cells will absorb because they are irregularly shaped, and the rest would go to my organs and I don't want to cause myself organ damage.

Anyway I'll take it for two weeks and see where we are at and how I feel on it. I am going tomorrow to buy it. A bit pricey but what can we do. I also made sure to let them know I'm well aware that having lower iron levels DO NOT indicate any increased risk of hemorrhage, it just means if I were to hemorrhage for any other reason, I would feel horrible for a couple of weeks because of the low iron levels. So its not a risk, its just another way for them to cover their butts though and really they don't look out for the woman they look out for themselves, that's what I have come to realize. I've never had issues with bleeding or not healing, quite the opposite in fact, I heal EXTREMELY fast and never bleed much. And this is another thing they will once again use to justify going against my wishes and sticking me with the pitocin shot instead of letting the placenta come naturally. Yet another reason I don't want to call them unless I have to, at least until after the baby and placenta arrive.

I also need to get a medical note from them to go on desk duty because I'm getting too big to be doing the work I do, it can be dangerous. Plus I'm finding it harder and have had intense pain from my stomach stretching lately. So I will see if we can have a give and take; i take this iron and do another round of bloodwork and they give me my medical note. I don't want to go on desk duty but am finding for many reasons including the above, it would be a good option for me since I plan on trying to go until the end of the pregnancy, either my due date or when the baby arrives. I'm due just before Christmas.
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#8 of 20 Old 10-23-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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I hear you on the fear mongering! I was wondering about something else in your post, though. Can you explain more about this?

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Originally Posted by Crunchymama3 View Post

Not understanding that my kids are very developed from the time of conception. 

 

Do you follow some kind of pre-conception diet or something? I would like more info, if possible. notes.gif



 
 
 
 

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#9 of 20 Old 10-24-2013, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. No, no special diet. I did take folic acid ahead of time with my first but that's not unusual for people to do. It's just that they haven't believed me about my due date in the past because my kids are always ahead developmentally so the ultrasound shows them to be conceived earlier, at least that's what I've figured out going by my cycle and when I know I conceived versus what the ultrasound says.,. This holds true after they are born. They both started crawling or attempting to crawl at four and a half months, dragging themselves across the floor and pushing up on hands and knees, and full out crawling before five months. They pull up in the crib and cruise around 6 months, and it goes on from there. People don't believe me especially about the crawling until I show them videos at the time. They thought my second was way overdue but he really wasn't. They thought he was 2 weeks and 3 days overdue but he wasn't that overdue, I estimated a few days at most.
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#10 of 20 Old 10-24-2013, 09:23 AM
 
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Wow, that's pretty amazing!



 
 
 
 

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#11 of 20 Old 10-25-2013, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, it scared the crap out of me when my first did it! In the haze of sleep deprivation, I did a double take and just could not believe it. The downside to such active kids is that they really don't sleep as babies. My oldest still is not a fan of sleep, the youngest now loves it. As an example, my oldest woke every 40 minutes almost to the minute until he was 9 months old. Then he slept 2-3 hour stretches. I don't know how I did it. We tried everything to get them to sleep. When they finally did, it was a few months past their second birthday when they decide they want to night train. Don't know what that has to do with it but it seems to be the switch that does the trick LOL. As I am not fortunate with their sleep patterns, I'm very fortunate about the pottying-19 months day trained and just past hte second birthday night trained!
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#12 of 20 Old 10-25-2013, 04:57 PM
 
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I thought those were normal ages for those milestones? I guess my kids are like yours.

 

Anyway, as a midwifery guide I felt H&H made sense as an intro/supplement/reference, as a UC guide, you take what's useful from it, don't let it build your philosophy.

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#13 of 20 Old 10-25-2013, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, it's pretty early actually! Especially for the crawling, as well as the potty training. None of my friends' babies did these things at those ages. Nor were those ages what was outlined in my reading and what I had been told to expect. My one friend had to see it for herself before she would even believe me, it was hilarious. Really strange to see a four and a half month old pushing his little butt into the air and trying to crawl! My first walked around 11 months which is not super early but it was good, he was a cautious baby when it came to walking. Then he got scared when he fell once and refused to do it until a month later LOL. His brother was still nine months, almost ten and he walked like he had been walking for months when he first started. Full out walking not cruising.
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#14 of 20 Old 10-26-2013, 04:21 PM
 
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So the cells in your blastocysts multiply faster in your uterus than anyone else's, defying all previous microbiological standards because your kids met their developmental milestones early?  Honestly, I find this very hard to believe.  It's possible the ultrasound got your EDD wrong and that your kids hit milestones early, but I doubt its because they the laws of physics cease to exist in your body.

 

Also, you are correct that having low iron doesn't make you more likely to bleed, but the consequences of bleeding are more than just mere tiredness. You may have a great history of not bleeding after birth and you obviously have a special type of anemia that you know about, I just don't want the message of low hgb = really tired after a massive hemorrhage to be considered factual information to other mom's reading this forum.


Heart and Hands is a good, basic intro to midwifery. I don't think it was written for a U/Cer.  It is not meant to be low intervention because if a midwife is present at a low intervention birth, then she needs not do anything. Its when sh*t hits the fan, that she has to know how and when to step in.  I think trusting birth is a good thing, I also think trusting yourself is important and knowing your own limits and also being able to live with the consequences of your choices (whether that be hospital birth or whatever), but if it were me, I'd at least be open minded enough to study some things so that I have a working knowledge of what would be a red flag enough for me to transfer myself in.


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#15 of 20 Old 10-27-2013, 09:05 PM
 
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I'm not familiar with that book but I just wanted to echo your opinions on midwifery.  I was really surprised when two different homebirth midwifery practices in Florida seemed so medical.  It was like they would only help me if I fit into a very narrow definition of normal.  The one had a backup doctor who, without ever even meeting me or doing any tests, decided I needed a hospital birth because I gained "too much" weight, and my baby would be too big (he wasn't even 7 lbs!).  Then of course there is the 42 week deadline, even though most first time moms go on average 10 days past their due date, so I'd think 4 days past that is still pretty normal.  That deadline made me try to induce with castor oil and it was so painful and caused 4 days of labor.  Then their tests that they made me get, even though there were no indications that anything was wrong, risked me out at the last minute anyway, so we UC'd the next day.  And actually it was a lot better than them being there and interfering, and the baby was just fine.  I really resented them pushing me and making me feel afraid and like I didn't have any choices.  They encouraged hospital birth when it wasn't necessary, and the hospital wanted to do a c-section.  I think some states have midwives that are different because of different laws, but ours are regulated and definitely have a CYO mentality.


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#16 of 20 Old 10-28-2013, 09:51 AM
 
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I read it. It wasn't very helpful but I liked reading it. I read lots of stuff that proved unhelpful. Lol
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#17 of 20 Old 10-28-2013, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So the cells in your blastocysts multiply faster in your uterus than anyone else's, defying all previous microbiological standards because your kids met their developmental milestones early?  Honestly, I find this very hard to believe.  It's possible the ultrasound got your EDD wrong and that your kids hit milestones early, but I doubt its because they the laws of physics cease to exist in your body.

 

Also, you are correct that having low iron doesn't make you more likely to bleed, but the consequences of bleeding are more than just mere tiredness. You may have a great history of not bleeding after birth and you obviously have a special type of anemia that you know about, I just don't want the message of low hgb = really tired after a massive hemorrhage to be considered factual information to other mom's reading this forum.


Heart and Hands is a good, basic intro to midwifery. I don't think it was written for a U/Cer.  It is not meant to be low intervention because if a midwife is present at a low intervention birth, then she needs not do anything. Its when sh*t hits the fan, that she has to know how and when to step in.  I think trusting birth is a good thing, I also think trusting yourself is important and knowing your own limits and also being able to live with the consequences of your choices (whether that be hospital birth or whatever), but if it were me, I'd at least be open minded enough to study some things so that I have a working knowledge of what would be a red flag enough for me to transfer myself in.

Okay, this response was really uncalled for. I'm telling you what my experience has been. My due dates as I calculated them were not wrong but the ultrasound was way off, as they often are off anyway by 7-10 days. I told them from the beginning that I was due end of May begnning of June, but they kept insisting I was due mid May, on the 15th.  He was born June 2nd and probably would have waited another day or two if we hadn't rushed things along with homeopathics and breaking my water.  If you would have seen my second son at birth, you would understand.  He was lifting his head and throwing himself out of people's arms starting the second day after birth.  We had to tell people to really grab on when holding him, and I mean really hang tight.   Pepole were asking me if he was 3 or 4 months was old.  Not just due to his size.  So you think that machines know it all or that people know everything that occurs in utero? Therefore the mother must always be wrong, right? LOL. The rates at which babies develop in utero are just an estimate, they don't all follow the same rate or pattern.   The developmental descriptions you see online of what occurs in utero are just an estimate.  Of course there are always people with your level of derision towards me because they just don't get it. That's okay.  Anything that challenges predictability is hard for some people wrap their brains around.

 

You forget that I have already had two births and I am talking about my particular situation not anyone else's. Although on the internet midwifery sites consistently state low hgb is not a risk for hemorrhage.  Period.  And I also discussed with my midwife and she agreed.  I can't cover all the complications someone might experience should they hemorrhage.  I was keeping it simple in terms of what it might mean for me in my particular situation.   I've already studied studied studied with my other two, so to be open minded as you say to their BS this time is just not going to happen. I know how they work and how they try to risk you out and cover their butts.  I've been through the fear mongering before.   I'm not falling for it.  I do know under which circumstances we would consider transfer to hospital.  That is all part and parcel of taking responsibility for your own child's birth and the decisions you make.  I wouldn't consider a UC if I hadn't researched and discussed and reflected with my husband.

 

As for the book itself, it says on the back cover that it is low intervention.  So I would not expect that extent of intervention in such a book.

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#18 of 20 Old 10-28-2013, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not familiar with that book but I just wanted to echo your opinions on midwifery.  I was really surprised when two different homebirth midwifery practices in Florida seemed so medical.  It was like they would only help me if I fit into a very narrow definition of normal.  The one had a backup doctor who, without ever even meeting me or doing any tests, decided I needed a hospital birth because I gained "too much" weight, and my baby would be too big (he wasn't even 7 lbs!).  Then of course there is the 42 week deadline, even though most first time moms go on average 10 days past their due date, so I'd think 4 days past that is still pretty normal.  That deadline made me try to induce with castor oil and it was so painful and caused 4 days of labor.  Then their tests that they made me get, even though there were no indications that anything was wrong, risked me out at the last minute anyway, so we UC'd the next day.  And actually it was a lot better than them being there and interfering, and the baby was just fine.  I really resented them pushing me and making me feel afraid and like I didn't have any choices.  They encouraged hospital birth when it wasn't necessary, and the hospital wanted to do a c-section.  I think some states have midwives that are different because of different laws, but ours are regulated and definitely have a CYO mentality.





Wow, that is really intrusive.  They're MEDwives sometimes, not midwives.  It seems the more regulated they re, the more they worry about their rules rather than believing in their clients and the babies.  So sorry to hear about the 4 days of labor. I almost tried castor oil laast time and am glad I didn't after hearing your story! I am so happy you UC'd! We almost did that with our second and we wish we had.  It was a big regret.  I can empathize with the pressure for intervention.  One of the medwives was pushing us to go to hospital and get a c section, saying the baby would die if we didn't.  She thought I had exceeded my physical limitations and the baby would not come down farther.  She lied to me saying my amniotic fluid was low when even at hospital they said it looked fine.  She was obviously wrong about everything.    Non stress test was great too. I just wish we had homebirthed/UC'd.  Unfortunately we followed their rules about not being able to attend to me at a homebirth after 42 weeks.  LOL.  9 lbs 1 oz vaginal birth, posterior baby (like my first) and no drugs.

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#19 of 20 Old 10-28-2013, 03:14 PM
 
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I think if you hire a midwife there is the assumption that they will act when things are outside the realm of some fairly standard definitions of normal. If you don't want someone to intervene then don't hire a midwife, hire a doula and UC, which you all know, that's why your here. Midwifed cant just wait until something is wrong as it may be too late to act. And since not all moms have the same awareness of their body or acceptance of risk, they have to go by what has been learned thru their training, research, experience, etc. the weight gain thing us ridiculous, but being in the most litigious states one of the highest c/s rates, I could see how that insanity might go on.

So, in summary, midwives have a job description, and it is different than the job description of a UC-ing mom. When you hire a midwife it is because you want someone with those skills present, IMO. So don't hire the midwife!
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#20 of 20 Old 10-28-2013, 03:18 PM
 
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