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#31 of 49 Old 04-08-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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Right, because they keep you blood free at the hospital! Silly men...
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#32 of 49 Old 04-09-2008, 03:45 AM
 
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Anyway. In my view, the ideal midwife is there, on call, either in the house or not, in case of the rare instances women need help in or after labor.
Sorry I couldn't resist to respond here!!! :

This is exactly how I am doing mine!!! I have a midwife, she is doing my prenatals and assisting me with new info about homebirth etc since it will be my first homebirth. She'll be there in the birth of my son BUT she will be there 'just in case'. She will no participate in the birth, I want to catch my baby myself and do everything myself. She is so happy about my decision

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#33 of 49 Old 04-09-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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Sorry I couldn't resist to respond here!!! :

This is exactly how I am doing mine!!! I have a midwife, she is doing my prenatals and assisting me with new info about homebirth etc since it will be my first homebirth. She'll be there in the birth of my son BUT she will be there 'just in case'. She will no participate in the birth, I want to catch my baby myself and do everything myself. She is so happy about my decision
I thought about doing it that way, but I then questioned my motivations and beliefs about why I would choose that. To me, it shows a level of doubt and fear that I didn't want to welcome in my birthing environment. In some ways it shows how I consider the law of attraction. If I welcome a midwife into my home "just in case" to be waiting on hand in case something goes wrong, then I feel that I'm also welcoming that "something" to go wrong. I understand the importance of being responsible and prepared in the event of a "what if" but that's where I chose to have a midwife who could be called in if such a situation arose, just as what we've discussed in this forum. Of course, its all up to what the mother and father feel most comfortable with, and what their beliefs about the whole process are. As for me, I choose unassisted with midwife back-up on call. Another bonus, its cheaper that way too.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#34 of 49 Old 04-10-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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yeah, I hear you... I always wanted a UC but dh is not so convinced... so we are doing half and half?!?! My insurance is paying for her so money is not a problem. I have to be honest, I feel like I need her there for some reason, prenatal care has done a wonderful job between my midwife and my family, she is now like a friend of the family after all those visits to her place. My mom is going to be at the birth (visiting from Panama) and she says I am crazy although she supports me, I just can't imagine giving birth on my own with my parents there. They'll freak out! haha I do have a plan though... IF I can manage labor without been so obvious, I can probably give birth on my own then call the midwife...

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#35 of 49 Old 04-10-2008, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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when i discovered i was pregnant, i decided that i didn't want any men around me during birth. not even my husband. it was influenced by some articles i had read by dr. michel odent. he stated that there was no place for men in the birthing atmosphere and refsed to be present at his child's birth. (or something like that...i can't remember exactly). he said that it can cause postpartum hemorrhage if the woman is paying attention to her partner as well as her baby. all her attention needs to be on the babe.

but my husband wanted to be there (of course!) and i couldn't tell him no. he said that that evidence was based on the matriarchal era. we are now in the patriarchal era, but trying to move forward into a partnership society - one of equity and trust between the sexes. i can totally dig this.

if the partner trusts the mama, regards her opinion as equal to his own, and is willing to be as supportive as he can during the labor/birth, he is welcome at my birth.

as far as others at the birth, the WHO organization clearly states that a woman should give birth where and with whom she feels safe. i believe that the safest place for a woman to give place is the place where she feels safest with whom she feels safest.
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#36 of 49 Old 04-10-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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Hmmm, my DH was present at our UC, but he was DEFINITELY NOT attending me!!! I delivered that baby totally myself- in fact, he was outside playing with the kids in the unseasonably warm weather and called me from his cell occasionally to check on me without disturbing me. When I didn't answer, he came in, got the kids watching a movie in the basement, turned the stereo up, preheated the oven (for dinner!), and came to check on me. I was in the tub, about 2 contrax from a baby. He asked what was gonna happen and I got through about 2 sentences and said that he'd just have to watch!!! I delivered the head to the ears, unlooped the cord from the neck, delivered to the shoulders, and watched that baby fly out like a spiraling football under the water. LOVE waterbirths! Awesome control!

He loved that he didn't have to be responsible for anything and I loved that he was comfortable with the role that he had. Oh, just before I delivered, he told me that he was gonna go put dinner in the oven and I told him that it wouldn't be that long- he asked "til dinner?"... I said, no- til BABY! Guys can be SO silly...

-Kristi
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#37 of 49 Old 04-10-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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Loving this discussion. Very interesting!! Especially since one of DH's arguments against UC is that there have "always been midwives at the births, even in the Bible!" (excluding the Hebrew mothers in Exodus and Mary of course) LOL

Sunny coolshine.gif: gun toting, retired breastfeeding, car seat loving, guitar playing, home birthing and schooling mama to Jakob (10.06), Mikah (07.08) and Korah (07.11). uc.jpg 

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#38 of 49 Old 04-11-2008, 04:18 AM
 
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This is an important topic, and I hope to be able to get back to it, but for now I just want to say thank you Zoebird for your (as always) insightful comments, and also to briefly address the men-at-birth issue. I love Michel Odent and I agree with him generally speaking, but it doesn't apply to all men and all birth situations. The key is protecting the hormonal process and altered state of consciousness of the woman in birth. If the mother is paying attention to anyone other than her baby, that affects the hormonal process adversely. If anyone is trying to fix or manage the situation or bringing fear hormones into it, that affects the hormonal process adversely. From what I've seen and read in videos and birth stories, almost always the man is outside of the process looking in, observing, trying to figure out what to do to help. He's not intrinsically part of it. Sometimes the woman is looking to him to play the role of midwife/doctor. Our bodies are so resilient, most of can birth normally under much more difficult conditions than this, but even this is an intervention, a hindrance, and for some women it may be what tips the birth over from normal into complicated. Ideally, for a fully instinctive, intuitive labor, the man should be calm, relaxed, in an almost meditative state. His role should be as lover, not midwife or even doula.

Another of Odent's beliefs is that seeing the woman give birth will turn the man off sexually to her. I believe it depends entirely on how the man approaches the birth. If he's seeing it as something mechanical or clinical, that's probably likely. If he regards it as primal and responds to it in an primal way, though, it can enhance his sexual attraction to his mate. And be a chemical and emotional asset to the birth (or at least not a hindrance) in the process.
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#39 of 49 Old 04-13-2008, 05:07 PM
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flb: thanks. sometimes i feel crazy. LOL
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#40 of 49 Old 04-13-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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Another of Odent's beliefs is that seeing the woman give birth will turn the man off sexually to her. I believe it depends entirely on how the man approaches the birth. If he's seeing it as something mechanical or clinical, that's probably likely.
Which is far more likely, I would think, if he's placed in a "care provider" role. I believe that sort of role is also more likely to cause anxiety and fear.
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#41 of 49 Old 04-13-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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When I was pregnant with my DD, I found myself, at 19, unexpectedly single and with no family whatsoever, so I decided that I wanted a midwife throughout the pregnancy and birth for moral support. I know I could have given birth all by myself (and almost did because it was so fast) but I wanted someone else to witness it and share the experience. Essentially it was more like having a friend there than a health professional. She did not do anything but take notes(which I like having now because it is all a bit blurry in my memory) and encourage me. Oh, and she also put oil and a bit of pressure when I was about to tear (it worked, no tear).

After the birth, she brought me some food, took care of the bedsheets and then left.

If I had a partner or other close person to be there, I would not have hired a midwife. Next time, I will UC. I don't feel that my birth was assisted in any way.

I think that a midwife's job should be mainly moral support and providing the exact level of care requested by the parents. I think that if a woman wants to homebirth with a midwife who checks her cervix every hour, monitors heartbeat and blood pressure and guides the woman as she pushes or whatever, that's totally cool as long as it is what the woman wants and it's always much better than a hospital. What I think is not cool is when a midwife is more concerned about insurance and lawsuits or her way of doing things and tries to force things on the mother.

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#42 of 49 Old 04-13-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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Interesting thread. I was thinking of this the other day. If all is well, I'd want to be totally alone. If it's not, I'd want to be in a hospital anyway. Not that I don't see the value in midwives but I'd rather have the "midwife" be my sister or friend yk? I'm blessed that my sister and best friend are UC/homebirthers and would love the job.
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#43 of 49 Old 04-13-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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I'd have to say, if I go back to the op's query comparing us to the animal kingdome, I'm going to guess that part of a midwives role is to provide protection. For instance, I think about a dolphin giving birth in open water, vulnerable, possible predators in the area. Her partner/midwife would be there to try and thwart any interference. That is my most basic primitive guess

Circumstances change the mws role and has throughout history. Everything you can name - single mom, disease, unsupportive community/environment, complications. Reading The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth really got me thinking on the mws role. The author, of course, carries the torch for ucing but the book is mainly about how we have transferred adoration from drs. to mws and she doesn't feel that it's appropriate. Although I'm ucing and I definitely see her points (it's my fave book for now), I do feel that mws have a big role to play under the present circumstances. We have strayed so far from even the healthy, happy pregnancy/birthing experience, we need them (the good ones anyway) to support women and give them confidence in their ability to carry a child and birth without complications. If hbers are only 1% of the pop., there are a lot of women walking around that have no idea they can have a healthy pregnancy and birth w/o their dr. I see mws as the middle guide that can hopefully keep drawing women out of the hospital and into the home so they can experience birthing in a more peaceful, comfortable setting.

I'm happy with my mws role. I lucked out - she said she'd support me in whatever way I needed her. I'm going to see her soon so we can go over my supply list and I'll go back in the last month to talk about what ifs. She is my source of information/feedback. If we lived in utopia I would have helped another mom birth and so had that experience to inform me or I could go down the street to another mother to talk about my questions. But, for now, I'm happy to have the mws support and hands on knowledge. And, let's face it, I'm glad I have someone to call during the birth or after if I need it.

So, imo, mws should be there in whatever facet WE need them - like someone else already stated. I would like to see a more open relationship with mws and ucers. I know that some mws would have completely turned me away when I mentioned ucing - that's why I feel lucky. And I don't think I should "feel lucky." I think her support should have been a given,yk? After all, isn't the midwifery model of care, that is supposed to be so different from the drs., based on the principal to support women in natural childbirth?

Oh, lord, and if you want to talk about the husband's role in cb, read Husband/Wife Childbirth. I don't totally disagree with her ideas - birth is sexual, therefore the father should be the one between the mama's legs not a hcp and there are some real gems in the book but, man, the author really takes it to the max. I like to read about different perspectives on birth so I recommend the book but it was a lot of sexy birthing to take in! I'm interested to see how my birth is different w/just me and dh there. Have we been inhibited b/c there were observers? Personally, I don't think so but I'll let ya'll know in June if it's not too sexy

BTW, dh loves being part of the birthing esp. the catching. He feels like he's experienced something that most dads don't get to. I think he feels priveleged being one of the first hands to come in contact with this new little being. He totally get that
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#44 of 49 Old 04-14-2008, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, elfinbaby. you go girl. and damn straight.

you just about summed up everything i wanted to hear from this discussion (not that i don't still hope it keeps going and going...)
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#45 of 49 Old 04-14-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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BTW, dh loves being part of the birthing esp. the catching. He feels like he's experienced something that most dads don't get to. I think he feels priveleged being one of the first hands to come in contact with this new little being. He totally get that
How sweet! I want OH to catch future babies! :
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#46 of 49 Old 04-17-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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I think regarding the "few and far between" thing...I think a lot of mws are the way they are as mentioned: a result of the medical community, licensing and malpractice etc. BUT I do know that there are some mws who are "medical" with some clients and not with others. If they have a momma who they know is educated in birth in a UC kind of way and they can trust her not to "turn" on them and sue, they are willing to be as hands off as that momma wants. But they can't ensure the future of their practice if they are entirely hands off with every mom. So two moms may have very different experiences with the same mw.

Once women lost their "place" in society as magical creatures who could bring forth life at will and were separated from society when pg because it was caused by a carnal sin.... the pendulum swung and fear began. Women were scared at having to birth alone whether they wanted to or not and the trickle down effect is where we live now. The medical society thinks they are needed bc women have been taught from an early age that they need doctors to birth and that doctors will help them/save them from the "horrors" of childbirth. Only a few women who are strong enough to see through that and reach their instincts that birth is natural can "go against the flow" and birth UC or even HB with a mw who is not a med-wife.

Luckily we are perpetuating non-fear in childbirth to our children and hopefully that will grow to reach more people in the future or maybe even have one of them become a professional who can impact the way our country births in general.

I have to disagree with your assessment that only a few women are strong enough to "go against the flow". Is a UCer "stronger" than a HBer with a midwife? Is a HBer with a midwife "stronger" than a HBer with a "med"wife?
And a HBer with a "med"wife "stronger" than that the woman who gave birth in a hospital? Can't we celebrate the fact that women ARE STRONG when they give life and then nurture those lives, no matter how (or where) their children were born?
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#47 of 49 Old 04-17-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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I think I get what Treeof3 is saying. I'm sure she wasn't trying to pit our birth choices or our strength against each other in a negative way. By strength she may have meant that those of us who choose to hb or uc are in a minority (is it really still 1%?) so, sometimes, we take a lot of heat from other adults or careproviders. Our judgment is questioned like when that ridiculous anchor on the Today show asked Ricki Lake if she thought she was encouraging women to be irresponsible by encouring women to birth at home: There's less ridicule or question of judgement if you see an ob. and birth in the hospital. That's accepted by most. Hbing isn't.

I think we can celebrate any woman who gets her kids grown I can. But I do grieve that the medical community has taken childbirth out of women's hands. I don't believe in natural childbirth b/c I want to prove myself as a woman or b/c it makes me feel "powerful" or b/c I'm ignorant or a risk taker. I believe in natural childbirth because it feels like a moment in time that is so private, intimate and my God-given right. I don't need any interference. There are women who have a different opinion and will tell me that can relate to that birthing in a hospital w/an epidural but I believe there are a lot more women who haven't even scratched the surface. They don't question. I don't think I'm stronger than those women but I do wish they would ask me "Why on earth do you birth at home?" I wish that fear and going along with the masses didn't dull such an important women's issue.

It's a touchy subject. I don't think cb will ever return to anything resembling natural or normal. At this point, I'd be happy if women could go into the hospital w/o needing a birth plan, be supported, and birth how they see fit. It'd also be nice if those women were told that they are perfectly capable of birthing their baby naturally w/o interventions. I don't think this is what they are told
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#48 of 49 Old 04-18-2008, 04:44 AM
 
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I had a lovely UC I was very happy with, but I think if we have more children I will want women there. My dh was as supportive as he could be, but it was hard for him to be my only support when he was tired and having a hard time seeing me in pain. It would be nice next time to have a woman, or a couple women, just in the background making tea and keeping supplies handy so we don't have to think about that stuff. It would also be nice to have someone to clean up and cook after so dh can just lay in bed with us.
Thats what I imagine the original midwives were like. Experienced women, there to lend a hand if needed.

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#49 of 49 Old 04-19-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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I also had a great UC, and the day after was thinking, oh maybe next time I'll have a midwife. I'm not sure why, exactly, I haven't fully processed those thoughts. Maybe I want the support, maybe the reassurance. I certainly feel as though I can handle it myself, so that isn't it. It was really wonderful having a supportive, knowledgeable woman to call when my placenta hadn't delivered 5+ hours after the birth. And even better that she came to me, checked me out, said everything looked good still and to just wait (it delivered right after she left). I guess I would like *her* at my next birth, as a witness, as someone to share the experience with (she was my doula at my hospital birth with dd). I like her energy. She's really good about sitting back and waiting and I feel like she is a good protector of my space.

I think the answer to 'what are midwives for' is probably as varied as 'what do birthing mothers need'. And it can be different with every birth.

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