To all my blogger friends that are midwives or nurses: Please don’t take it personally. I know from experience that there are some really great ones out there. But there are the others too… The ones I actually asked myself “do you even know what you are talking about?”
Of course they know what they are talking about. They studied in their field probably for months and years. And having all the theory and knowing all that stuff is great. But what about the real deal? Do they really know how it feels to push a huge head out of something rather small? Do they know how the pain actually feels like?
You know what I found out? A lot of the midwives my friends (and I) encountered had not children. They were either not just there yet or decided at one point that they would not have kids. And who can blame them? I mean if you watch woman after woman after woman giving birth, being in pain, maybe screaming at the husband, swearing, crying you might decide not to go through something like this as well.
Giving birth is not a fun sport. It’s painful and exhausting and hard work.
So here is something that I always wanted to get off my chest. A little message to all the midwives that aren’t as awesome and understanding as the 6 ladies were that were involved in the birth of my children. Some of those points I’ve experienced myself. Some are stories of friends of mine.
- As much as I acknowledge that you have gained knowledge about the birth process and you probably have heaps of experience in supporting moms to be, you have no idea how it actually feels like until you’ve done it as well. So just don’t pretend.
- Don’t think that we are wimps when we ask you for painkillers or the epidural. You just get to the point where you can just not handle it anymore. And honestly: Would you have your tooth pulled out or cavities fixed without a local anesthetic? No, you wouldn’t! So why would a midwife refuse to let you get this epidural and would only consider it after another couple of brutal hours of pain? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the risks of an epidural but hey, at least offer other options and don’t just say that you should be tough for another little while after you’ve been in pain for already at least ten hours… Especially if you, the midwife, never gave birth…
- Don’t make a stupid remark about how it looks down there. Grooming that area was a) not a priority anymore and b) nearly impossible with a belly like a watermelon in your way…
- Don’t dare making a stupid remark about having an extreme hair growth down there (happened to a friend of mine) as you not only make the mom to be feel really uncomfortable at this very moment and then every time you walk in but also trigger an issue for her for the future…
- Never ever say “We need to keep pushing…” or “We can still do it…” or “We don’t just need painkillers just yet..” Lady, it’s not “we”! I acknowledge that you are there to help the mom to be and that it’s sort of a teamwork but hey: The hard work is done by the woman lying there and pushing the baby out of her vagina! Your vagina is not involved in this process…
- No, I didn’t feel like shaving my legs. I really didn’t feel like grooming at all for a while. And it’s really not an issue for me now as my legs are spread out and you all are focused on what is in between of them… besides the pain I’m feeling…
- If for what ever reason a mom to be is admitted to hospital to induce birth, please make sure you and the good old doc actually talk to each other and not come in and check on how far the mom to be has progressed (to what point she’s dilated) every 15 minutes… Because you know what: It bloody hurts!
- If the mom to be asks you if inducing birth always works, don’t have a smart ass smile on your face and answer with “nobody ever walked out of here without the baby being born…” (I would today answer that, yes, somebody did…)
- There is no room for a remark down the line “and that’s why I decided to never have kids.” Something you just don’t want to hear in this moment!
- When the baby is finally there the body is not fixed just yet. The moms exhausted. I understand that it’s important to come and check on the mom and the baby. While other nurses/midwives can do that with keeping the light down, you had to fully turn on the lights and not only wake me but my baby too. Not necessary!
- It might be my second baby but it’s been a while since my first one was born. So all the things that were so normal to me might be a bit slow. Be patient if I can’t remember how to latch on properly anymore…
- After 17 hours I might need your guidance as my brain is really completely exhausted. My husband is exhausted. Now it’s the time to be there and motivate me.
All in all: If you as a midwife have never given birth there is a huge part of experience missing. I bet your support for the moms to be could be even better, if you would acknowledge that some things you can only try to understand. No matter how often you’ve been supporting a woman giving birth. I understand that some women need some TLC in this moment but everyone for sure needs some understanding. There is no room for a smart ass.
Picture yourself. Ask yourself what you would like to go through in a moment that is exhausting, painful and makes you feel extremely vulnerable. And then do your work, always thinking of what you would like to hear in this moment.
I’d like to point out, that besides a couple of the points I’ve mentioned above, I’ve been treated really well by the midwives involved in the birth of my two children. The midwives that made the remarks I’ve mentioned towards me were only there prior or then after giving birth and I’m sure glad that was the case. Although out of 6 midwives only one was already a mom and the others were really young, they treated me with heaps of respect and were a great support. For me, it was teamwork. Unfortunately I’ve some friends who didn’t have such a positive experience. And interesting enough they all only have one child now.