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to be worried about this midwife?

(32 Posts)
maize Sun 06-Sep-09 13:51:03

Recently did a clinical induction to a local health trust, I will be working almost exclusively with adults.

There was a midwife who had previously been an independent midwife on the same induction.

She commented that resuscitation training was 'useless' to her because she would be working in the midwifery led unit and they only looked after 'healthy women' she said the same thing about moving and handling and huffed and puffed her way through the whole session.

She also stated that she felt additional training was useless because experience was all that matter and as she was in her 50s she could learn nothing new from a 'young inexperienced upstart'

If she was presented to me as my midwife I don't think I could be comfortable with her. I found her attitude very very worrying.

Should she be practicing with this attitude?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sun 06-Sep-09 13:52:22

My initial feeling is she could be quite dangerous if she isn't willing to learn new things and thinks she knows everything.

jeminthecellar Sun 06-Sep-09 13:52:45

Unfortunately there are lots of people in all professions with this attitude.

I would be concerned tbh

SomeGuy Sun 06-Sep-09 13:55:26

ugh. I believe the correct expression is 'madwife', and there are quite a few like her, especially common practising as independent midwives.

If you read some of the midwife malpractice hearings, you'll see that the arrogance of these sort of midwives does lead directly to tragic consequences such as dead mothers and babies.

lolapoppins Sun 06-Sep-09 14:02:09

I won't post my story as it is too long and personal, but midwives with attitudes like this make me feel sick.

A perfectly healthy woman (and feotus) can turn into a nightmare 'unhealthy' situation in a matter in minuets during labour, and to not think resuscitation training is of great importance is rediculous and dangerous. God forbid any of the 'healthy' women she is assigned to runs into an emergency.

GirlsAreLOud Sun 06-Sep-09 14:05:30

I had a hilarious midwife with the earlier part of my labour with DD, thankfully the shift changed and the lady who was with me for most of it inc the delivery was lovely.

The first m/w was hilarious though. The only time she spoke to me was to shout at me to come back and put my slippers on when I ran out between contractions to go to the toilet.

She was also writing my birth notes on a paper napkin at one stage, despite having my actual notes with her. hmm

LuluMaman Sun 06-Sep-09 14:08:31

YANBU, and I would speak to the supervisor or midwives at the hospital at the very least, and if necessary, the area supervisor.

babies and mothers in MLUs can and do need resuc. help etc and thinking you know it all and nothing bad will happen is dangerous
you cannot take your eye off the ball in midwifery when you have a motehr and a baby to keep safe

maize Sun 06-Sep-09 14:32:15

Yes I am debating ringing anonymously but I don't know her name and I would have to describe her and the haughty woman with big hair!

It was the resus thing that really frightened me tbh.

LuluMaman Sun 06-Sep-09 15:08:02

if you can give a description and when the induction was, i am sure it won't be hard to find out who it was

sabire Sun 06-Sep-09 16:00:18

"especially common practising as independent midwives"

Know lots of independent midwives do you? hmm

I know quite a few, and although many are fairly radical in their views about birth, the ones I know are also very bright, responsible, and committed to evidence based and woman-centred practice.

The ones who frighten me are the small number of NHS midwives who love poncing about the labour ward wearing scrubs and wishing they were really doctors - they're much more dangerous in my view.

cancantcan Sun 06-Sep-09 16:39:49

Sabire - Well said!
But to OP - Yes, def. report her, you can contact the person who ran the training and ask who she was, then report her. Anyone working in a professional medical capacity should have knowledge of up to date rescusitation techniques. Even in a midwifery led unit, things can go badly wrong in a matter of minutes, both for mother and baby.

WidowWadman Sun 06-Sep-09 16:45:05

In what way are they more dangerous than the midwife described in the OP, sabire?

(Personally I've no experience of independent midwives, but all of the NHS midwives I encountered were ace.)

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sun 06-Sep-09 17:11:56

I had an independent midwife come to see me at home and what she did could have resulted in me losing my baby and my husband losing his wife.

The student midwife who was with me when I had my son was amazing. Mine was the last birth and then she qualified. smile

lolapoppins Sun 06-Sep-09 17:22:00

I had an idependent midwife. Two infact, they worked together. Thank god I ended up choosing to have ds in a hospital or he would have died. They were both still inisting there was nothing wrong with him and he was perfectly healthy as he was being whisked down to intensive care. I shudder to think what would have happend if he had been born at home (as they were pushing me to) and it was just those two with us. ds wouldn't be here now.

It was a student midwife on the ward who spotted ds wasnt breathing properly and took action.

SomeGuy Sun 06-Sep-09 17:31:33

> although many are fairly radical in their views about birth

This in many cases is the problem. If you are a politician, or an activist, then being radical can get things done.

But medical practitioners are there to ensure people are healthy and alive. Not fight one-person battles.

If I heard that my GP was 'radical', I would be quite alarmed.

This is the sort of thing that 'radical' midwives get up to:

www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/tm_headline=pool-birth-baby-agony--&method=full&objectid=18805708&siteid=6 4736-name_page.html%29

and btw an excellent example of what happens when you're an arrogant potential killer like the madwife in the OP who fails to learn resucitation techniques.

"The independent midwife:

hampered paramedics' attempts to resuscitate the baby, so she could apply olive oil to its feet.

stuck her finger into the baby's mouth to apply a herbal remedy when a paramedic was giving resuscitation.

botched attempts to use a lifesaving "bag and mask" device to resuscitate the baby.

failed to perform basic resuscitation techniques when the baby stopped breathing."

"Midwives should be able to bag and mask. Other health care professionals who were present were able to.

It is a skill that must be practised and learned. It isn't something that is easy or that you can just do."

Here's another one:

www.sarahmontagumidwife.co.uk/aboutme.htm

She believes in "The miraculous nature of birth and the power of women's bodies to give birth safely never fails to move me"

unfortunately this "miraculous power" extends to ignoring medical advice that certain woman most likely do not have the power to give birth safely, and having repeatedly done so, on one occasion, informing a woman who had had two previous C sections, was living in an rural area, had obstetric cholestasis and was pregnant with twins, that it was a good idea to have a home birth. Having done so, when everything went wrong, she failed to inform the ambulance service that they had a red alert emergency - arrogance again I guess.

LuluMaman Sun 06-Sep-09 17:36:10

i know some independent midwives

and madwife is the last term i would use to describe them

i don't believe they would hamper paramedics saving a baby

don't tar all MWs, whether indie or otherwise, with the same brush

there are some incredible MWs out there and I have been lucky enough to work alongside them

SomeGuy Sun 06-Sep-09 17:36:53

Anyway, she was another that appeared before the nursing council and was found guilty of malpractice.

People with 'radical' views looking after your pregnancy are not a good idea, especially when they tend to amount to 'birth is a routine event, don't worry about, it's completely normal, no risks at all'.

This is a graph of maternal mortality rates over the last century in the UK: www.ajcn.org/content/vol72/issue1/images/large/011384a.jpeg which show that this is not the case.

Andthentherewerethree Sun 06-Sep-09 17:38:19

yayy for student midwive's. i think a student often has amore time to build up a relationship with the woman and her partner in labour, especially the ones in teh alter part of thier training who stay with one woman and have a qualified midwife to refer to and who comes int o check on them routinley.

i know a few midwives as described in the op and without wanting to generalise they are usually older women who have been midwives for many years.

oh and writing notes on a scrpa piece of paper is fairly common practice, have seen it done loads and have done it myself, just things like bp and heart rate, as it usually needs to be wriiten down a couple of times at least within the notes so its handy to have a little chart to refer to quickly and also to have the information close ot hand wihtout scrabbling through notes when a senior midwife or doctor asks questions should they need to. as long as what is written in the actual notes in factual and accurate.

barnpot Sun 06-Sep-09 17:38:48

all i can say is that I had a healthy pregnacy until I had a silent placenta abruption at home my son needed ressusitating and I came close to it as i had lost a lot of blood and had no BP.
these people make me sick I'm an intensive care nurse and she puts the health professional name to shame, I think we get a bad enough press as it is without idiots coming out with stupid comments like that, next time she opens her mouth remind her that healthy women do get sick too and more suddenly than the higher risk ones who have more monitoring! angry

edam Sun 06-Sep-09 17:39:59

Maize - yes, please do report this midwife to the supervisor of midwives. She could be very dangerous.

LuluMaman Sun 06-Sep-09 17:40:15

i think if a woman engages an indie midwife who she knows is radical and will tend to use homeopathic and alternative remedies instead of or before conventional medical help, then she has to bear some responsibility should things go wrong

SomeGuy Sun 06-Sep-09 17:43:44

homeopathy is bollocks though. And when it comes to childbirth dangerous bollocks.

JollyPirate Sun 06-Sep-09 17:46:24

Homeopathy works though for some people who believe in it. The mind is a powerful tool. Don't think it would work for me though as I am much too cynical....

JollyPirate Sun 06-Sep-09 17:59:28

Sadly the attitude of this woman is felt by an alarming minority in the NHS. I was a midwife for several years and have assisted women to give birth both in hospital and at home. I have faith in the ability of women to give birth in many cases without the need for intervention. Let's not forget that midwives and doctors cause problems at times by intervening when they should leave well alone. The seventies was a horrendous time with women strapped to beds, legs in stirrups, automatic episiotomies etc. I would like to bet that some babies died because of this over-intervention. Breaking the waters, adding Syntocinon to an already distressed baby = disaster.

What we do have to bear in mind is that we must not go too far the other way and just ignore the signs that labour is not progressing well.

It's about being sensible and making the most of the technology we have. A few years ago when I studied archaeology I can remember seeing the photograph of some skeletal remains of a woman who had evidently died in childbirth. her breech baby's skeletal remains with the head still in the pelvis but body delivered were there too. I couldn't help thinking that if this woman had been born a few hundred years later then she would have survived and so would her baby.

Home birth is still safe - if you have a midwife who respects mother nature and her ability to spring a surprise. I have never had a problem at a home birth because if labour was slow or showing signs of problems then we went in to hospital - simple as that.

In one case we went to caesarean section, another needed a ventouse delivery, the rest of the women gave birth normally.

Any midwife making such comments as the one in the OP would worry me greatly.

GirlsAreLOud Sun 06-Sep-09 18:41:54

Fair enough on the notes andthentherewerethree, is it usual to not speak to your labouring patient at all either?

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