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This is my 3rd pregnancy. First was a normal homebirth, second was an unintentional UC when we couldn't reach the midwife. We've since moved, so I have a different midwife this time. She was the most hands-off midwife I could find here, and so far I've been very happy with her.

We've been discussing the birth more lately, and I think she's a bit taken aback by how hands-off I would like her to be. I have no problem with her checking temperature/heartbeat/blood pressure during labor. I want no cervical checks, and she's fine with that. If I feel I'm not progressing or something is off, I'm fine with her checking. My issues are with the actual birth. I know that she wants to have all of her equipment ready and be focused on me. I would prefer she just sit in the corner and watch. Obviously if there was a problem she would step in, but I enjoyed my UC and would like to recreate that as much as possible. She really wants to check the neck for the cord and suction the baby after birth. I don't feel that either of these are necessary during a normal birth. Bottom line, I don't want her to touch me or the baby if she doesn't have to. I also have no issue with her stepping in if she needs to.

Is that insulting to her? I feel like she may be a bit insulted, and I wondered if my expectations are reasonable. I really do like her and have confidence in her, I'm not looking to switch or anything like that. What do you think?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellarae View Post
Bottom line, I don't want her to touch me or the baby if she doesn't have to. I also have no issue with her stepping in if she needs to.
I think you need to share this with her at your next appointment. I think most midwives with a wide range of experiences have attended births with women who felt as you do. I know when I was interviewing mws (we've also moved, so even though this is #4 for me I was looking for a new mw) I was asking about level of involvement/intervention and she recalled a mother who chose to be in the bathroom while she (the mw) was on the other side of the door listening. She related how she was so focused for the sound of the baby, but that it was also incredibly important to support the mother, and that when the baby finally did make a sound she was able to move away from the door.

I feel similarly, this is my #4th hb and I prefer to birth in water because of the distance it affords me from everybody, but I also want a mw with extensive experience in case I need her to step in.
 

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I think it's never unreasonable for you as the client to have the birth you want...whether or not she'll go along though depends on your MW. Definitely discuss it with her. I know my MW would be fine with that but not all would be.
 

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I think that wanting someone to do a birth the way you want is do able, on the other hand I have found that there are midwives who just cannot give up doing certain things like catching a baby- so much so that they haven't been able to train apprentices fully because they won't let them catch or manage a birth. if this mw is like that I don't think any thing you ask is going to ultimately work out-- it isn't a bad thing to ask but maybe you need to re-interview the other midwives in your area -- even though it may seem that this gal is the most hands off maybe she ultimately isn't-- ask her to tell you her favorite birth stories- same with some of the other mws--
 

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I agree with Mwherbs--it IS very hard for some mws to really know how much they like being hands on, and how hands on they really are. This does not sound like a hands off kinda mw, really. If she is actually in the same room when you birth, then you/dp will be able to call her over if YOU see cord around the neck (*and* that actually looks like a problem in getting the baby out).

I no longer check for cords--unless something seems 'off' as baby's head is on perineum--so, rarely. I find it is enough to watch for cord, which will become visible as soon as shoulders start to emerge--then help somersault baby out if needed (rather than allowing/helping baby to be born straight outward from yoni, a way to keep baby very close to mom til you see if cord needs unwrapping).

Routine suctioning is NOT needed, and is not recommended by the Amer. Acad of Pediatrics, even in the presence of meconium, unless baby is not breathing at all due to blocked airway. A baby who is coughing, sneezing, making sounds (or quietly looking around but getting pink) is a baby who is doing just fine removing any gunk from mouth/nose/upper airway. Mom/dad/mw can 'help' merely by wiping away what emerges.
 

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The way I see it, you hired her and she should at least listen to and be open to your concerns/wants. If she is totally outside her comfort zone doing what you ask, that's something to consider. But your requests seem reasonable to me. Hope she'll feel the same. Good luck.
 

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I think your midwife should be able to work with you on this. I have a post on here about not wanting my mw's apprentice in my face during the birth. I think what ever is going to make you the most comfortable. Especially since this is your third baby and you already had a UC. My mom had 5 home births, and by the time she got to the last few kids, she mostly labored quietly on her own and the mw usually didn't show up until she was practically complete. And even then they mostly let her do her own thing when it was time to deliver. Just let her know your expectations and hopefully you can strike a balance.
 

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I think that for some midwives they won't find it reasonable at all to not check for the cord or to catch the baby as that is what they really believe is the best thing to do. However, your request is not unreasonable and if she isn't able to meet you with what you need, then it might be wise to interview a few others.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellarae View Post

Is that insulting to her? I feel like she may be a bit insulted, and I wondered if my expectations are reasonable. I really do like her and have confidence in her, I'm not looking to switch or anything like that. What do you think?
I don't see why she'd be insulted, and I think it's a reasonable request. My mw actually prefers to be hands off and thinks the father should be the one to catch the baby as long as everything is ok. And he cringes when we watch a video and they automatically suction the baby.
 

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She certainly shouldn't be insulted by your bringing up your desires. However, since she is accepting a certain amount of responsibility for your birth and the outcome by attending she will have a minimum amount of monitoring that she needs to do to feel comfortable. It is difficult for her to make decisions without information and how much info she needs will vary from mw to mw. I think it is important for the mother to respect the mw position as well as the other way.

That being said i can't imagine why she would need to check for a cord and absolutely no suctioning unless there is mec. But heart tones, bp etc make sense.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellarae View Post

We've been discussing the birth more lately, and I think she's a bit taken aback by how hands-off I would like her to be. I have no problem with her checking temperature/heartbeat/blood pressure during labor. I want no cervical checks, and she's fine with that. If I feel I'm not progressing or something is off, I'm fine with her checking. My issues are with the actual birth. I know that she wants to have all of her equipment ready and be focused on me. I would prefer she just sit in the corner and watch. Obviously if there was a problem she would step in, but I enjoyed my UC and would like to recreate that as much as possible. She really wants to check the neck for the cord and suction the baby after birth. I don't feel that either of these are necessary during a normal birth. Bottom line, I don't want her to touch me or the baby if she doesn't have to. I also have no issue with her stepping in if she needs to.

Is that insulting to her? I feel like she may be a bit insulted, and I wondered if my expectations are reasonable. I really do like her and have confidence in her, I'm not looking to switch or anything like that. What do you think?
because you have already said you are willing for all types of monitoring and any emergency actions- is what has lead me to believe that this midwife is attached to "catching" the baby- and that no matter what agreements are made that this mw is not going to be comfortable sitting on her hands during the birth -- and that you have sensed that she would be insulted by bringing it up - is another clue how invested seems to be to catching the baby
 

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I think it would be a good idea to have a conversation with her and let her know exactly what you want during birth and see if she is ok with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all of the insight. She has agreed to let me catch the baby, so I'll have to have a more detailed conversation with her. She seems very concerned about what position I'll catch in, and I just want to let it happen. I've done it twice before, I'm not going to let the baby fall on it's head. It's things like this that worry me. She agrees to what I'm saying, but I have little clues that she may not be fully comfortable with it.
 

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I do not think your expectations are unreasonable. I have the same exact expectations. The checking for the nuchal cord thing is a deal breaker for me. I am 100% not ok with that. I just can't accept non-evidence based actions during 2nd stage.

I'm not a MW though. I hope that the two of you can come to an agreement that you are both comfortable with.
 
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