UCer's becoming doulas/midwifes - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-28-2007, 11:40 AM
 
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Wanting to be a midwife to me is all about broadening the choices available to women.

I'm able to have [mostly] the type of birth I want. With my narrow list of options I've chosen to UC.

If you've been able to choose the type of birth you want (probably UC since this is the UC forum) and you want to become a midwife it would seem honorable that you would be willing to provide another choice for women out there. You had a choice and you want to work toward other women having a broader array of choice.

If you haven't been able to choose the type of birth you want (i.e. UCing because of lack of other choice or perhaps choosing a different style of childbirth because you're preferred style was/is unavailable) then it would also seem honorable to become a midwife in that you were not given a choice and therefor want to provide that there are choices available for other women.

Choice in America - land of opportunity - seems to be getting more and more limited everyday. Especially concerning women and childbirth. We are talking about a country that still has huge territories (states) that outlaw or seriously limit midwifery as a choice in childbirth. I have always seen the ladies of the UC board not as limiters of choice but as expanders of options. Choosing to become a midwife to further opportunities for other women in the choices they make concerning their bodies, their births, their children, for me fit hand in hand with what UC is all about - Empowering women and expanding limits.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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I think that UC lead me to being a doula. I hated all the negativity that my family and friends had toward my decision to go unassisted and I knew then that women need other women to look and them and let them know that what they want is valid. Support and love are the mixture for a positive birth.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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I understand UCers and UC advocates who would not ever even consider this, who are totally opposed. However, I've had 3 UCs and am headed to my fourth, but I also got trained as a birth doula after my second birth (not certified and not practicing) and have seriously considered midwifery (on the backburner now, for a later time in my life - not now when my children are soooo little).

I dont' know that I could "do" a hospital birth. I just don't know. I would for a family member or close friend... but I do feel like I would need about a month to recover from it! Ugh.

I do know I could support a woman in a homebirth. Let's face it, some women are social birthers, who on a deep level crave the company and energy of other women around them during labor. In our society, in this day and age, a woman's option to have that is often limited to hiring professionals. Not too many women are blessed with mothers, aunts, sisters, neighbors, and friends who 100% get birth as a natural, personal event.

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Old 11-02-2007, 08:46 AM
 
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I UCed my DD, and I'm a lay MW. The focus of my practice is to help women to be prepared and empowered to UC, offering help with preperation, advice, practical stuff, post-natal care, etc.
and I'm there on call if they need any level of support during labour. I usually stay with the mama more as a doula, keeping very low-key and non-interventionist. But I meet the needs of the mother, and some women are still on the journey of breaking free from our conditioning of being helpless and inadequate to birth.
some women feel safer to have a knowledgable supporting woman on hand. (and many of them really want to have cervical checks, even intelectually knowing that there's no good reason for it, the curiosity gets to them )

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Old 11-02-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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I'm a 3.5 time UC mom...the .5 was laboring at home and transporting for a needed csec with my last one. And I'm a midwife. A lot of you have already said most of what I would say about this...so I'll try to keep this short..or at least, not too long ;-):

the main things I want to say are that 1, yes, women need a choice and I try to provide that...my orientation is VERY UC, 'self-managed' and self-empowered, I focus on education and support and have a very laid back birth-support style. But it can be hard to walk that line, since so many couples hear 'midwife' and they expect 'authority', The One In Charge--ie, it is not only about what I hope to offer, but also about what people want/expect. Oh, I do try to clear this up right at the outset, before any committments are made, but still, a few slip through and then it can be tricky to navigate.

and 2, when birth goes to hospital, this is SO hard! Not when it is really necessary--that is all good with me to get truly needed med help. But this month (previously unheard of), I've had 3 ladies choose hospital births out of 4 clients! One was talked into it by her OB-'backup'--a 5wk early induction based on u/s results that turned out to be ALL WRONG. Totally unnecessary induction! The other 2 just lost patience I guess--not that their labors were so horribly painful, just taking their sweet time--and these moms saw the hospital as a reasonable way out of pregnancy and labor. No emergencies; no situations that were beyond my skill or the mom's actual endurance; just a choice--one of which wound up as a second needless csec.

And I see this as due in great measure to the fact that the medical institution has such a deep, insidious and firm grip on people's minds anymore--way more than ever before and growing all the time. This is about the relentless advertizing and political lobbying the AMA does, which has given them such a foothold legally and culturally. So many women have a sort of automatic response/deeply ingrained belief that hospital is safest and nothing is ultimately lost to them by going there. Of course, *I* know better...not to sound too superior or anything, only experienced!...I know in time that these women will rue their choice and mourn the loss of power, bliss, options that came with the medical birth. One of them--2nd csec--already is questioning herself (6wks pp), tho initially she spoke as if it was the best choice and all was 'good'.

Anyway--so it can be emotionally quite difficult to be a UC mom and a midwife, too. We UCers truly 'know the secret' with our bodies, hearts, and minds: that birth is normal and as safe as life gets, that there is nothing so sweet and powerful as self-managed birthing, that we (the great majority of women) are entirely capable of birthing without being under anyone else's 'care' or being managed! We have crossed a line, blown out prior limitations, prior ideas of what it is to be a woman, experienced Life in a totally uncensored, unbuffered way (even those of us like me, 'social birther' that I am! I was still The One in Charge at my births, even the csec which was my call). You can't give this to someone else, tho you can try to nurture and support it in various ways (that's another topic altogether)...and you can't help but mourn and rage when social conditioning prevents a woman from taking what is rightfully hers. This week I've been a bit of a broody wreck, trying to process these transports (2 of 3 occurred w/in 2days of each other last week).

Being a mw requires in any event being open hearted and willing to experience deep emotions as part of the work because death and disability and disappointment are part of the reality of birth. I just think it may be harder for experienced UC moms....I think maybe we have an additional layer of emotional response to contend with than a non-UC mw would have.

Just some thoughts, hope they make sense. It was long after all....seems to be my way!
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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cool. I'm so glad you checked in MsBlack. I didn't realise you had uced previously, but you always have such interesting things to say. And majikfaerie and other ladies working as birth support after UC, I may pick your brains a bit in the future too.....

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Old 11-02-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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Not sure I'd be so bold as to post here, if not for my UC experiences and orientation...I'm also a UC grandma now (proudly spoken, of course) of 2 UCed girls...second daughter planning to start UCing with her 2nd baby someday (first was w/mw at home for dh's sake)....the only thing better than getting to attend the births of my grandkids was to know that my daughter chose UC

and as for brain picking, feel free. as you can see, I like to talk!
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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by the way...couldn't resist saying....

I was having my first UC in 1979, within a few months of Laura K-S....I just haven't written a book about it...yet! it is in my plans, tho, to write a UC book.

Somehow, I just found it such a tickle to know that that momentous year form me was one shared by another of like mind (was reading a lot of the Jane Roberts/Seth stuff around that time, too) who went on to become famous for it.

Another btw is that it was a hbmw who encouraged me to go UC the first time: I wanted to hire her to help me, but she was moving away before my edd. She said, "do it yourself--I have, you'll do fine. And by the way, you should become a mw"
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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so funny... you were having your first uc in '79... I was breathing my first breath in '79.

I often fantsise about being able to go back in time and educate my mother. Of course I was born in accordance with the style at the time: failed induction at 14 days past edd, and c/sec without trial of labour.
I can quote the head nurse verbatim: "the induction's not working and it's almost 5pm. cut her open so I can get home for dinner"

I think growing up with that knowledge somehow was a big motivator on my path to natural birthing.

feel free to pick my brain.

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Old 11-03-2007, 03:08 AM
 
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well thanks, all, for this discussion. it is motivating me to remember..what WAS i doing all those years studying and attending births?? oh yeah, i am really into being educated, and i'm into helping others to be educated, no matter what the topic. but i am really passionate about birth, and i'm looking into childbirth education. and writing a book. just education without all the trippy biases, ykwim?? because around here, you take the hospital classes if you are having a hospital birth, and the midwives all do their own classes. so if someone was wanting some education and wanted to uc, where would they go?? and it really is interesting how the c.e. classes really set up the expectations for how the birth will go according to the provider. seems like women deserve the information and are then allowed to labor/birth in whatever way suits them. if they don't want to buy the "homebirth kit" and want to birth on newspaper, fine. there really is a limited picture presented of birth, isn't there?
and that book! yes, note to self: must write a basic book on childbirth when not nursing, cleaning, cooking, volunteering at kids' schools or teaching preschool! silly me. but really, LAURA! how does one go about making sure that book you'll spend so much time writing will really get published?!!!

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Old 11-03-2007, 03:33 AM
 
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First off, I didnt read all four pages of posts. I will get to it but wanted to jot down my thoughts first. I am trained as a doula and will practice when my little ones are done nursing. I find all aspects of childbirth fascinating.

I have had a c section, a hospital vbac, a birth center vbac and am planning a homebirth that will probably turn into a UC. I truly beleive that women need to be supported in birth no matter what they choose. Gentle encouragement and giving information and introducing new ideas and then encouraging them to make their own decision and then supporting them is in and of itself a beautiful thing, although very difficult.

I think that there is a natural progression,(painfully slow)of change and people cannot be forced or scared into doing anything hence the horrible birth outcomes we have today in hospitals.

I can relate to alot of scenarios of birth and I have come a long way. If I can help one woman have her dream birth or even just improve from the last one then she will teach her children about birth and so on and so on. I feel frustrated and sad when some people cannot step out of the box but my compasion and love for them overrides that and so I keep my cakehole shut and rub their shoulders and tell them I beleive in them and hope for the best. I think that a Ucer would make a great midwife or doula.

I rambled!! Sorry!
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Old 11-03-2007, 08:09 PM
 
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mataji4, a good way to get your book published would be to attend the birth of a publisher

I think the main thing that all women need is to feel supported. Support = Better Birth.

UC does not mean some woman just going off and giving birth by herself without any help at all.
It is a woman who feels so supported that she can give birth without professional assistance. Of course, all our bodies are made to birth freely and without hinderance. But our cultural conditioning is very strong. For a woman to be able to have UC, she must feel fully supported.

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Old 11-05-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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I worked as a doula and midwife first and then had my first and planned a UC (though I ended up with a c-sec in the end) so I was a little backwards.

For me, it was incredibly hard to go into the hospitals and eventually I just had to stop. When I first started out I was all gung ho about changing birth and being a resource for families wanting to know about their options but then after seeing induction after induction after induction, the constant lies, birth rape, and manipulation, I started to get incredibly cynical and decided to bow out because I didn't feel like my presence was a benefit anymore and started to feel that the role of doulas especially was unecessary.
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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I tried to be a doula, and the hospital births killed my heart - I haven't been to a birth in over a year, and I still feel like I'm recovering - and it wasn't even all that bad.

I want to be a midwife, but the legal climate will prevent me from being the sort of midwife I want to be (with woman, instead of over her) fully - unless I leave the country, at some point.

I don't know what I'll do. To me, being a CBE seems like - the 'safe' way out. I don't know.

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Old 09-17-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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I had a UC, and I would like to become a midwife. While I think UCing is great, I also know that some women like company. What I would like to do is be a hands-off midwife, kinda let the woman UC and just call me over when she needs something. If she wants more help, that's fine too!

My goal, keep women out of the hospitals. Considering that here in PR, the c/s rate is 48% (yes, you read that correctly, not a typo!), I think a woman is better off at home with a midwife that in the hospital getting an unnecessary c/s or being shaved, enema-ed and induced on her back (especially with Cytotec!! )

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Old 09-17-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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[QUOTE=rixafreeze;9550560] If the doula speaks up, she can be thrown out of the birth room. QUOTE]

I thought that was what doulas were for .. to advocate for the birthing mother when she is unable to do so herself and to make sure her wishes are respected. That's why I hired one.

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Old 09-17-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mataji4 View Post
well thanks, all, for this discussion. it is motivating me to remember..what WAS i doing all those years studying and attending births?? oh yeah, i am really into being educated, and i'm into helping others to be educated, no matter what the topic. but i am really passionate about birth, and i'm looking into childbirth education. and writing a book. just education without all the trippy biases, ykwim?? because around here, you take the hospital classes if you are having a hospital birth, and the midwives all do their own classes. so if someone was wanting some education and wanted to uc, where would they go?? and it really is interesting how the c.e. classes really set up the expectations for how the birth will go according to the provider. seems like women deserve the information and are then allowed to labor/birth in whatever way suits them. if they don't want to buy the "homebirth kit" and want to birth on newspaper, fine. there really is a limited picture presented of birth, isn't there?
and that book! yes, note to self: must write a basic book on childbirth when not nursing, cleaning, cooking, volunteering at kids' schools or teaching preschool! silly me. but really, LAURA! how does one go about making sure that book you'll spend so much time writing will really get published?!!!
I"ve been thinking I'd love to write a UC handbook - something that brings together emergency childbirth, heart &hands, and unassisted birth by laura shanlely - all in one source, an inspirational, informative, educational and easy-to-read resource for UCing and UPing. Wouldn't that be great?

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Old 09-17-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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I'm glad this thread was bumped up.

I'm planning a UC with my first, and right now I'm a childbirth educator and postpartum doula, and will be taking my birth doula training in November (along with my rockin' mom!).

However, I don't think there's any way I'll be able to do hospital births. I just...I dunno. That's why I'm so glad my mom is taking the birth doula training with me. She's a bit stronger, and had both her babies in the hospital...she supports women and their choices, but she doesn't know as much as I do regarding the cascades of interventions, so I don't think she'll take as much to heart as I would. We're planning on going into business together: her working births, me working postpartum. That's what I want to mostly do, for right now, support new mamas postpartum.

My dream (besides being a singer! ) is to become a homebirth midwife. Unfortunately, unless I either move to Miami or have $20,000, I can't be a midwife in Florida. I plan on moving up North and pursuing my midwifery studies through AAMI, and then apprenticing until I feel confident enough to take the NARM.

I believe in UC with all my heart. It's just what feels right to my soul. But, as a previous poster said, some women just don't want to be alone. Some women want to be in charge, but want someone to be there for them just in case. I don't condemn these "just in case" women. There's nothing wrong with backup. I don't feel that it is right for me, but I do understand that it is right for many women. I want to fill that roll. I want to be the "just in case" midwife; supporting and nurturing a woman through her pregnancy, supporting her in whatever way she desires through the birth, and mothering her during the postpartum period. This is the role of the traditional midwife. Mothering the mother through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. It's my dream.

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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I would also say that UC seems to be a state of personality as much as trusting birth. My good friend L trusts birth just as much as I do, but she's a very social, outgoing person and she likes to have a PART-Y at her births. She loves to have MW, apprintace, husband, kids, friends, mother, etc all gathered round. I, on the other hand, am a serious introvert and that's why I *liked* UC so much. I am very private and get preformance anxiety which hinders my births. She would hate having an unattended birth. She likes all the lavish attention. So perhaps some women just choose to have a wise woman (MW) attend them for more reasons that just not trusting their bodies.
Very true. I think I am lot like you when it comes to birth. I just want to be left alone and do my own thing. But I can also see the appeal of having the Party Birth too, especially if you have a great group of birthy women. My little sis is much more like that. She likes all the attention and female companionship.

I worked as a doula and as a midwife's apprentice (to a DEM) and assistant (to a home birth CNM) before I had my UC. It was really valuable to gain all kinds of knowledge and experience of birth, rather than only educating myself on one narrow philosophy of birth.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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I"m a wanna be UC'er who is a wannabe CBE and doula (birth or pp, or both, haven't decided yet).

I don't think anything wrong with it.

I think I'd have a difficult time with hospital births. I'd have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut about things namely hospital rituals I disagree with (honeybunch=highly opinionated). But if someone wanted to hire me as a bodyguard I wouldn't mind.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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Lately I have been thinking ALOT about becoming a doula to improve woman's birth experiences in this mainstream, medicalized culture.

I FULLY support UC and believe that women do not need assistance in birth. However, so many women are saturated in the NEED.

Would it be wrong to try and reduce the fear of birth by assisting women in having natural and beautiful births as a doula or a midwife?

Ok...discuss
1st:
I dont know how it could ever be seen as wrong to help a motherbaby have a healthier mental, spiritual and physical experience of birth. If someone were to suggest it was - I would have to say they were AWFUL narrow minded.

I fully support UC, have done it twice, may do it again this pregnancy.

--- I however do not agree that as a 'rule of thumb' you can say that "women do not need assistance in birth".

For many women, Hospital go-er's, home birther's, and UC'ers alike: find, enjoy, and are quite greatful for the support they receive from those present [either mates, doulas, midwives, friends and family].

Sure, it is theoretically possible in a perfect world where all women are empowered, strong, self reliant, and didn't need anyone's support or presence in their birth.... but is that really what its all about? Many women find great bonding with their mate in their [sometimes] powerless state and his protection/caring for her.
Strong 'I don't need anyone' types of mothers to be can and do find that, yes, indeed, birth can be long, tiring, and support is a welcomed godsend.

Some learn in the process, that yes, it's ok to need others sometimes, yes its ok to trust, and so on.



I doula, and will till I die.


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Old 09-20-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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--- I however do not agree that as a 'rule of thumb' you can say that "women do not need assistance in birth".

For many women, Hospital go-er's, home birther's, and UC'ers alike: find, enjoy, and are quite greatful for the support they receive from those present [either mates, doulas, midwives, friends and family].

Sure, it is theoretically possible in a perfect world where all women are empowered, strong, self reliant, and didn't need anyone's support or presence in their birth.... but is that really what its all about? Many women find great bonding with their mate in their [sometimes] powerless state and his protection/caring for her.
Strong 'I don't need anyone' types of mothers to be can and do find that, yes, indeed, birth can be long, tiring, and support is a welcomed godsend.

Some learn in the process, that yes, it's ok to need others sometimes, yes its ok to trust, and so on.

agreed, agreed and agreed.

But there are also strong, empowered, self reliant women who simpy ENJOY other women and assistants at their births. For those for whom UC is theri ideal, more power to them. But for MOST their idea of a perfect birth includes others.

I liked this thread when it was begun

I've since began nursing school, in time I'd like to be a homebirth or hospital based CNM. we'll see. it's lifetimes before I'll graduate

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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: I want to me a MW one day.
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
I like being cared for. I liked having food made for me, laundry done, clean up magically happen, tea made for me, a warm bath for me when I was ready, my back rubbed.

this is what my husband is for!
.....
but seriously, my husband does all of those things for me. i think it's because he's "the best."
chime in too! My husband was fabulous- and almost doula-like as fas knowing what I needed, back rubs, drinks, etc. When I started to get a little panicky - he calmly asked me to 'come back down here, this is where you are supposed to be, down here'. It isn't that he didn't do that for me - it is that he also had to do everything else, food, more towels - thus not be just with me and our baby immediately after the birth as much as I would have liked.

A doula may have made a difference by taking care of those things non-intrusively, and that would have let him feel relaxed to be just with us.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~Mamaterra~ View Post
I am a doula because I UC'ed and want to support a woman in labour and birthing the way that she wants to birth. But I am hands off (thats' why I UC'ed) and as a result, I couldn't see myself taking an "active role" in a birth like that of a CNM or laymw.

I could imagine being a doula but not a midwife.

I can't imagine a scenario where I would or should have to put my hands inside another woman during her labor or birth ... examine her, instruct her, etc. As a UCer, I feel that the woman herself is the 'expert' and wouldn't want someone to look to me in that capacity. I would not want to diagnose or examine. It's just not me.

I can see me supporting and offering friendship, massage, clean up, etc ... much like a sister or friend ... but not taking on the role of birth expert.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:21 AM
 
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Yay for bumping up this thread! It started a month before I had my youngest - my UC. I had a birth party and it was fantastic:

Since then, I've finally followed through on becoming a LLL leader and am working towards becoming a Trust Birth facilitator. I've been getting more involved in the local birth community...and yep, still planning to be a homebirth midwife when my kids are older. I'm very excited about it!

Sarah
aspiring midwife Mama to Declan - 7/14/00 and Bastian - 11/20/07.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:42 AM
 
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I'm in the process of become a doula. I'm also pregnant and planning a UC. I would love to be a doula at an otherwise unattended birth. I think that it fits perfectly- I believe in mothers and their bodies and I think that empowering a laboring mom and supporting her in her own abilities can create a wonderful birth. I would love to have a doula that supported UC and would just act like a friend and a comforter.

Kristi wife to Mal , mom to Ziva (4/07) (3/08) Aliyah (1/09) and somebody new (edd 11/10). I
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaperk View Post

I could imagine being a doula but not a midwife.

I can't imagine a scenario where I would or should have to put my hands inside another woman during her labor or birth ... examine her, instruct her, etc. As a UCer, I feel that the woman herself is the 'expert' and wouldn't want someone to look to me in that capacity. I would not want to diagnose or examine. It's just not me.

I can see me supporting and offering friendship, massage, clean up, etc ... much like a sister or friend ... but not taking on the role of birth expert.
But see...that's just it. Midwives don't have to put their hands inside another woman during her labor or birth. They don't have to be the expert and diagnose or examine. They can be that person offering support and friendship, massage and clean-up. This is my vision of a midwife.

They can also fill a roll of helping in case of an emergency...because emergencies DO happen. They are RARE, but they happen. And I, for one, would much rather have a midwife on stand-by to help in case of an emergency instead of having to go to the hospital. I would rather a midwife suture me in case of tears instead of having to go to the hospital. I would want a midwife's one-on-one care throughout the postpartum period if needed, instead of having to see a doctor. Unfortunately, most midwives won't fill that roll (if you did not birth with them) due to liability. That's why I'd like to be a midwife, though. To fill that roll of support person who can offer further skills in case of emergency, and to be there for UCers who would like additional care.

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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^^^ Yes, and that's what I want to provide. AND, many midwives don't do labor stuff because "that not what I'm there for." I'd rather be there for the mama in any way she wants me to be there. I'm not going to be "expert" to tell her how to birth. My expertise (hopefully) will be in providing the care she wants me to provide and obviously in case of true emergency.

Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to love.gif DD (9yr), DS luxlove.gif (3yr), & 2twins.gif UC twin DDs (5yr)

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Old 09-23-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Any wannabe doulas thinking of learning massage as well???
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