From a Midwife

Right from the very start of my working with HypnoBirthing parents, I had to keep questioning things I had been doing routinely for years as a midwife. I had to deal with this early--luckily at the very first HypnoBirthing. I say that this is where the women and the girls are separated.

Why would a midwife REALLY need to check a birthing mom? What difference does it make if the MW fills out the little squares in her chart--it does not change where mom is in her labor!

My client was so relaxed, I really couldn't tell when, or if, she was in surge. I had a identity crisis in the following moments. EVERYTHING I learned as a midwife and was proud of was being taken away from me. There was no 'breathing' to listen to and evaluate as to 'where she is in her labor'; there were no body cues; no hopping around; no whining; no clues to where 'we' were in the birthing. I don't know why it became 'OK' in the next few moments, but it was. Part of the internal dialog I was having with myself was this:

If I check her (do a VE) will she 'lose' where she is, cuz whatever she is pretty amazing?
What do I gain by checking her? Aren't we all really just waiting for the urge to push? It can be reassuring to know for the client, that she is 8cms, but it can also be so discouraging if she is thinking that she at 8 cms opened to find out she is at 3 or 4.

What exactly am I going to do with the information I gain from checking her? (write it the chart, it is protocol for me to check) But I know from being a midwife for a long while, that where a woman is at a certain point in labor does not let anyone know when she will be 'done'.

I was also afraid to put the doppler on her belly to check on the baby-but I overcame this after an hour. I was so relieved when I asked her and she mumbled an 'ok'. I was so in awe of her relaxation, though I was completely out of my circle of comfort-She was not acting as every woman should at a birth. Very quiet and not assuming. I could do anything 'as the midwife'. I was relieved again when my taking heart tones did not alter her relaxation and take her away from wherever she was! This birth made me re-evaluate EVERYTHING I was doing as a midwife.

I hardly ever do VE's now, but when I feel I should, I don't tell my clients a number. So, I tell woman now that they have more work to do, they have done a lot of work, and that they called me at the proper time....things like this. HypnoBirthing really does take away any time frame of how long anyone thinks the labor is going to be.

I  have now arrived at the final mindset of 'If the baby is not in mom's arms and on her chest, we are not done'. Where we are in the process is of little issue. Some couples need the presence of the midwife for confidence.

I now say if the client feels that she couldn't have done it without her midwife, then her midwife did not do her job!

What's the saying about talking the talk and walking the walk....

With HypnoBirthing, I have one of the lowest transport rates, lowest C-Section rates and have very good outcomes. ALL's WELL!

Jennifer West, LM, CPM, HBCE, TBMP, CST, CH
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Last Updated: August 17, 2012