Experience with Newton Wellesley Midwives? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 03-03-2010, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I am 27 weeks pregnant and living in London. There is a possibility that we will be relocating to the Boston Area (Needham perhaps) before I give birth.

I had a natural birth (water birth) in December 2008 here in London. I want very much to have a natural/intervention free birth this time as well.

I have heard good things about NWH midwives practice but would love some first hand accounts (good and bad please).

Other recommendations (aside from a home birth as living accommodations are not confirmed yet) are very much encouraged too!

Thanks in advance for your time and suggestions!
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#2 of 15 Old 03-03-2010, 10:17 AM
 
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I would also suggest checking out Mt Auburn midwives, although they will be much further away as they are the places I've heard the best things about. Boston is not great for natural childbirth support though unfortunately

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#3 of 15 Old 03-03-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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I birthed with the midwives at Womens Health Associates at NWH in December 2008. I had a wonderful, natural, and intervention-free experience. My midwife Coleen Ryfa was amazing, and one of the nurses was a former midwife. I came in ready to push, though, so I didn't have to deal with any issues around laboring. After my daughter was born, she was immediately put on my chest and I held her and breastfed her for about an hour. Even then, she was just taken across the room briefly to be weighed, then she was right back with me. At NWH, if your pediatrician and your midwife ok it, you can leave after 24 hrs, and a nurse will be sent to your house after another day to check on you and the baby.
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#4 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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I gave birth at Newton-Wellesley (3 years ago) with the midwives from Harvard Vanguard in Wellesley. I loved them! It was a wonderful natural childbirth experience (my second). My midwife who was there for the delivery (who was on duty that day, lucky for me!) was Michele Helgeson - wonderful!!! The midwife who I had my appts with at Harvard Vanguard was Suzanne Wright. I really liked her too.
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#5 of 15 Old 03-05-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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I had a natural (Bradley) birth at NWH this past September. My overall experience was that they came across as being completely supportive of natural birth, but once I was there, I was disappointed. The midwife who was there with me (who I had not met before) sat back and didn't give much support until after transition began. (I was there through most of labor because I was Group B Strep positive). The good thing was that she respected that I didn't want any intervention, but she also didn't offer any positive support. The first nurse who was with me was fabulous, but the second fell short. I think that it is very hit or miss at NWH, depending on who is on duty while you are there. The midwife who I saw through my pregnancy even admitted that.

Another note: I labored in the tub for a short while but had to get out because the tub was not working properly. It kept draining. Talk about frustrating...Also, I'm not sure if you are aware or not, but in MA you can labor in the tub but you cannot push or deliver in the tub.
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#6 of 15 Old 03-05-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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kat5681- I assume you didn't have a doula at your birth? Medical staff definitely fall short on the emotional support. I birthed twice naturally and didn't have a doula, wish I had! It really isn't the job of the nurses to provide that support unfortunately, they just don't have the training or the time for emotional/physical support throughout labor. Some midwives are also trained as doulas, not all, but like the nurses, often focus on other things.

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#7 of 15 Old 03-06-2010, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kat5681 View Post
I had a natural (Bradley) birth at NWH this past September. My overall experience was that they came across as being completely supportive of natural birth, but once I was there, I was disappointed. The midwife who was there with me (who I had not met before) sat back and didn't give much support until after transition began. (I was there through most of labor because I was Group B Strep positive). The good thing was that she respected that I didn't want any intervention, but she also didn't offer any positive support. The first nurse who was with me was fabulous, but the second fell short. I think that it is very hit or miss at NWH, depending on who is on duty while you are there. The midwife who I saw through my pregnancy even admitted that.

Another note: I labored in the tub for a short while but had to get out because the tub was not working properly. It kept draining. Talk about frustrating...Also, I'm not sure if you are aware or not, but in MA you can labor in the tub but you cannot push or deliver in the tub.
Can I ask what type of practice you used? (i.e. midwifery (one of the aforementioned?) or OBG?) thanks!
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#8 of 15 Old 03-06-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I ended up having a csection with the WHA midwives and I agree your experience is totally dependent on who is on staff. I had a crappy early labor experience with the one midwife in the practice who I had never met but had wonderful labor support, emotional and physical, from the two midwives who were there for actual, active labor. I also had one HORRIBLE labor nurse and one amazing one. The dr working with the midwives who was on shift was awful and I firmly maintain I would have had a vaginal birth if I could have scrapped up the money for a homebirth. The entire postpartum experience was terrible, not at all supportive of BF or co-sleeping and really made a stink when I wanted to check out early even though DS and I were both totally fine.

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#9 of 15 Old 03-08-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfadams View Post
Can I ask what type of practice you used? (i.e. midwifery (one of the aforementioned?) or OBG?) thanks!
I used midwifery.

I guess I would have had a better experience with a doula, however, I expected some sort of input on how my labor was going, rather than to just let me do it myself. I know that the job of the nurses and midwives is not emotional support, but a word of encouragement, a word of anything would have been nice! But like I said, it might have been the particular nurse and midwife who were with me, I'm not suer that they are all that laid back.
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#10 of 15 Old 03-09-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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i had a great prenatal care and birth experience with the WHA midwives - never felt pressured into any testing, always felt supported making whatever choice i wanted, etc. i did have a doula as well, and in general i would recommend them to anyone looking for a good hospital birth experience. kathleen bruce was the one who was at my birth, and she was great - very hands-off, supportive, and very helpful in terms of knowing what to say at what time and when to back off and let my husband and doula support me. i also had a wonderful nurse during my labor who was so cool - she was very accustomed to working with the WHA midwives and seeing natural births, so it was rather nice.

that being said, i sure did not love being in the hospital for the next two days. i hated having people keep coming in and out of the room, and the nurses thought it was weird that we didn't want her to go to the nursery for any testing without one of us present (but we did anyway), and i ended up having to stay an extra day because my daughter's bilirubin levels were higher than they'd like to see - but not crazy high either. and after they tested her, she had this enormous poop, after which her bili levels might have been lower (that is how you excrete it after all), but they didn't re-test her and totally pressured me into staying. i don't think i slept much at all those 48 hours after birth. i had one really mean post-partum nurse, but everyone else was basically okay (just very very medically-minded). all in all, it was mostly fine, and if i needed to do a hospital birth whenever #2 decides to join us, i would go with them again and just not let anyone pressure me into staying any longer than 1 day - but i'd much rather homebirth next time.

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#11 of 15 Old 03-10-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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I birthed at NWH about 8 wks ago and I totally agree with the previous post. NWH postpartum staff was not so great! But my birth team was fantastic.
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#12 of 15 Old 03-11-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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I used the midwives & had an amazing birth; however, the hospital staff made me feel totally crappy. I plan on having a homebirth w/ a midwife next time.

forever following the lead of a colorful active little monkey
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#13 of 15 Old 03-11-2010, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I spoke with WHA and was told that you don't have to stay any longer than you like (barring jaundice etc, I guess?) is that not the case?
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#14 of 15 Old 03-11-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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WHA midwives want you to go home sooner, and NWH will send you home gladly after 24 hrs and send a nurse over to check on you the next day. Our hold up was our ped, who isn't set up to do metabolic testing in office, and it can't be done til 24 hrs after birth. My daughter was born early AM; we stayed that day, that night, and left the next day around noon. So I think it depends on your ped's ok and your midwife's ok, but the hospital is fine with it.
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#15 of 15 Old 03-19-2010, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your replies. Looks like I won't have to apply this newly gained knowledge until baby #3. It is highly unlikely that we will move before the baby is due and therefore will birth here in London.
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