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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you ever turned down a client for a homebirth because her house was too dirty?

This question occured to me as I was picking up laundry in my bedroom, and thinking about how I have to sweep under the dressers, etc. before I let my midwife in there.
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I don't think she'll be checking under your dressers. I may be wrong, though. :LOL

From what I understand, they check for running, hot water, electricity; things like that. I know of someone who had their house "approved" even though one of the many hurricanes had caused a power outage for a week. I think you're okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know. :LOL I'm not concerned that she won't catch the baby at my house because of the dust bunnies under the dresser, I'm just doing crazy cleaning lately because I'm 9 months pregnant and I can't help myself, lol. I was just sort of thinking about it. My midwife does all prenatal appointments at my house so she's seen it a lot worse than it is now and apparently she didn't have a problem with it.

I guess I was wondering how bad a house would have to be before a midwife would say, no way I'm catching a baby here.
 

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If the mw felt it was unsafe, I guess. Totally subjective, I know.

You can typically tell the difference between a messy home and a truly filthy home. I have been at home visits, where I couldn't wash my hands in the sink, because I didn't want to compete with the several cockroaches crawling around in it. I got fleas from sitting on their couch.

I've also been in homes that should have been condemned. Like, no windows. As in, holes in the walls where the windows once were, but they had been broken and pulled out. No working toilet and only cold running water in the kitchen.

Now, we don't do homebirths, rather we do birth center births, so all these visits were after the fact, when we do our postpartum homevisits. We have had several clients over the years who have lived in campers, tents, yurts and other nontraditional structures. Or old small homes, homes in the process of being remodeled, etc. We've also had clients who were living at the local shelter. We have no problem with these situations. It's just the situations which are overwhelmingly horrible, or where the practitioners feel unsafe. If we know the mama lives in that situation, we try to refer her to services that can help her get out of that situation. Oftentimes we don't know until it's too late (ie, when we are doing the postpartum visit). But if they are living in the same situation the next time they are pregnant, we usually tell them we can't serve them with their current situation. Basically, if we are uncomfortable sending a 4 hour old infant and 4 hour post partum mama home to the situation, that's our cut off. Very subjective, I know, but that is how it is.

I think your home has to be pretty dirty to rule out a homebirth. Just the fact that you *care* probably means that you don't fall into that category! :LOL
 

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it depends on the person. I think yes for me. if she lived in a way that made me think she didn't care about her self and her surroundings, then I would think she might not be about to take very good care of this child and I would not be able to handle being part of her life....

But it would have to be really BAD. like piles on all walls, smelling bad in the house. mold, just really yuk! and I would want to see how she ate. family life.. married etc. it all would have to add up to make me say NO!
 

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Oh my gosh. I totally was not putting two and two together. If I have a midwife attended homebirth, she'll have to see the inside of my home!
Good thing I'm not nesting yet, or I'd go crazy! lol
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rach
Oh my gosh. I totally was not putting two and two together. If I have a midwife attended homebirth, she'll have to see the inside of my home!
Good thing I'm not nesting yet, or I'd go crazy! lol
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I can answer as a doula...

Nope, I would not think that would be reason to turn down a client. And I am always willing to help tidy up a bit.

I have turned down clients, but for other reasons, I think a doula and client should share some similar philosophies/views. I also tend to listen to my gut... Or my heart... whichever the case may be at the time.

Does this help at all?

 

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No, in fact, I kind of expect a woman's house to be messy and sometimes even dirty at the end of pregnancy. Especially if she is not feeling well, having problems, lots of kids, living on a farm, etc. Not to say all women, but I am not surprised. I am 30 weeks and know my housekeeping has taken a real dive! After all, the baby is going to be living there, what's it going to matter where she delivers? Familiar germs are not usually the problem, unfamiliar are. But sometimes I will use more hiblicens at some farms for fear of some bacteria being spread around. (listeria, strep, etc.)
 

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Yes. There have been clients turned down for houses being filthy and yes, I will turn down clients for a two reasons:

-Filthy beyond the pale
-Smokers

When I say filthy I mean cockroach infested, food crusted floors, no place to sit, no soap to wash your hands and no way to get to the sink to begin with. I don't mean toys all over or laundry taking over, KWIM?

I learned all of this the hard way. Shudder. It may sound harsh but I'm not going to spend 24 (or 48 or 72) hours in a house where I feel unsafe, KWIM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sheena
Yes. There have been clients turned down for houses being filthy and yes, I will turn down clients for a two reasons:

-Filthy beyond the pale
-Smokers

Really? You wouldn't attend a birth at a house where someone smokes?
 

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No, I won't take clients who smoke. I'm allergic to smoke and it gives me a RAGING headache for days. Plus, I would just rather my clients be healthy, KWIM?
 

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Nope. I've been in some really dirty houses. For those births, I just make sure to wear clothes that I can sit on dirty carpets in, etc.

I have heard stories of mws telling their clients specifically how to clean their house for a birth. That just makes me laugh - and feel rather sad for the client. If the mw is that controlling, she should just come on over and clean herself!

I guess everyone has their own issues as to what they will deal with and not deal with. I would just hope that there is some compromise on both sides.
 

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I have helped with babies in houses that had true filth-- this is the environment the baby is going to live in. now for these people I had them do the old bag the stuff up bit because I did want some clean things around for the birth--- in particular I am thinking of some people who had no doors and had animals -goats, deer, rabbits, chickens and dogs that wandered in and out of the house pooping in the floor, table, in the sink and on the clean dishes.... they also had a surface well that was contaminated with septic so we boiled all the water and I brought my own water to drink or else drank tea (rinsing the cup with the boiling water first) they also had no phone.......

for got to add- yes I will go to a house of smokers

I have also helped women to clean the house, and have tried to help get rid of a chronic lice problem-- don't think I would attend another birth at a house infested with lice- I can't relax at all feel like bugs are crawling on me constantly and I think a nervous midwife is counter-productive
 
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