Monday, November 19, 2007

The Midwife Search

After my experience with CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives) in a hospital setting, I feel very strongly that I cannot plan another birth in a hospital. That leaves me with two other settings: a dedicated birth center or at home. The attendants at births in those settings are midwives, whether LMs or CNMs. They are also much more likely to support the Midwifery Model of Care. That's the standard of care I thought I would be getting from the UW Midwives program, but I was mistaken and suffered because of my own ignorance.

This time around, I am interviewing potential midwives BEFORE I get pregnant so I don't feel any pressure to pick one because I have a time bomb in my uterus with a deadline. I started doing internet searches in my area. Living in Seattle(home of the pioneering Seattle Midwivery School), there are lots of midwives around.

Most out of hospital midwives will provide a free consultation appointment where a woman can interview with questions and get a feeling for a particular midwife's philosophy and style. I learned its important to be able to trust a midwife at the vulnerable time during labor and birth where a woman needs loving support and is easily open to suggestion.

Here is a sample of the questions I asked:

How do you employ the Midwifery Model of Care in your practice?

How do you empower women?

What positions do you suggest for birthing?

How do you support a laboring woman?

If a transfer is needed, what do you do? Where to?

What complications necessitate a transport?

Describe the prenatal care.

I interviewed four midwives initially and got enough information where I felt I could compare and choose of those four which I felt most comfortable. Tentatively, I have chosen one who also provides Naturopathic care to families and children. However, the search does continue while I continue to think through my wants while weighing what I feel is safest for me and my next baby.

1 comment:

cognosco said...

So much of picking a midwife is who you just "click" with, so interview as many as you need to until you find that match.

My sister-in-law calls hospital midwives "medwives". She lives in NC, where homebirth midwifery is illegal. She had tried to birth in a birth center for her first birth, but those places are subject to so many of the same protocols as hospitals. She kept getting sent home from there, and then eventually they made her go to the hospital for pitocin. She ended up with an unnecessary c-section.

She had a homebirth VBAC for her second birth. It was "unassisted", but supported (a midwife in training). Totally different experience.

I had a homebirth last February. If I'd been in a hospital, they'd have c-sectioned me for sure. Too long pushing...

I'm really enjoying your blog so far. Good luck in your midwife search.