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(18 Posts)
honey86 Thu 18-Jul-13 12:53:23

to feel that were not just a number. that each and every birth is special no matter the parity (amount of previous births.
not just delivering our babies then shoving us out the hospital the same day and going 'next' hmm

quertas Thu 18-Jul-13 11:47:55

Bloody basic competence would've been nice as far as I was concerned. Too much to ask as it turned outhmm

YBR Thu 18-Jul-13 11:10:18

I think one think you may want to learn to pick up on is how enquiring your patients are (and their partners). I prefer medics to discuss what they're thinking and treat me like an intellegent person. I resent being given the quick answer or treated like a young child. Others don't want to know the details, just be told what to do for the best.

I imagine you won't be allowed to advise of your preferences on some things, but people will ask, so think what you can say in terms of facts. With DC1 I was planning to EBF, but she needed formula, the MW asked me and DH which brand we wanted but we had no clue and turned the question back on her. The response was along the lines "I'm not allowed to recommend one" when we rephrased the question she mentioned that the neo-natal unit use x.

Charly303 Thu 18-Jul-13 05:25:52

* Thank you very much for the other replies, I can see that as a midwife I will need to be able to understand the mothers situation in the appropriate manner. Also treating women with respect, regardless of age, social background, so that they may feel comfortable and have a happy experience with the midwife. Quite intrigued by independent midwives, will have a look at that! Once again, thank you for your replies and luck for my future, I hope your births run smoothly and you enjoy motherhood!!

Many thanks,

Charlotte X smile

Charly303 Thu 18-Jul-13 04:51:14

Thank you very much for the other re

Futterby Wed 17-Jul-13 23:08:12


Futterby Wed 17-Jul-13 23:07:51

Hi smile hope all goes well with your studies smile

I don't really have much to add to what's already been said, but I've personally not had a great experience. I'm 18 and currently 20+4 weeks pregnant, and at my first appointment (at six weeks after I'd been bleeding and had a terrible time of it) the midwife asked me, really condescendingly, "so do you know who the father is?" I was totally shocked, and I've had similar comments from other midwifes throughout my pregnancy. I think midwifes should make an extra effort not to prejudge people based on their age and/or circumstances because I've found that I've been heavily judged constantly. I'm a student nurse, and I know when to be concerned about my health and most of the time, when I've mentioned something I've been concerned about, I've been fobbed off and treated like a child. For example, at an appointment I mentioned I'd been getting quite bad chest pain. The midwife just looked at me and went "do you mean breast pain, pet?", like how you would speak to a small child.

Don't get me wrong, I've had some amazing midwifes too and they were an absolute credit to their profession but it's the be experiences that really stick with you.

My midwife hasn't influenced my decision to have a water birth in hospital (if possible) at all, because she hasn't actually discussed it with me. During my labour and delivery, I'm hoping she'll let me do my own thing for as long as possible and only interfere when she's needed, but I've not had any experience of this yet because I'm pregnant with my first.

Best of luck flowers

Phineyj Wed 17-Jul-13 22:47:51

I think good midwives can communicate well with partners as well as the pregnant/labouring woman. They also have a lot of energy and resilience as it is a knackering job.

I think it is important that they keep up to date and know the (evidence-based) reason they are recommending the things they do. I had a confusing encounter with a booking in midwife who told me swimming was dangerous in pregnancy. She couldn't tell me why. It turned out she had misunderstood advice about avoiding breaststroke in the very late stages of pregnancy. A minor point but I didn't trust her advice very much after that!

I had an independent midwife and she was great at giving us information, letting us make our minds up and then supporting what we chose. But then we were paying her so we were the customers, which you are definitely not in the NHS.

Also, as Serious said, it would be so great if all midwives could remember that women having their first pregnancies have never done any of it before, so what seems completely routine and boring to them is a much bigger deal to us and we might have a lot of questions, but that doesn't mean we are questioning their expertise.

Rowboat Wed 17-Jul-13 22:36:12

Ok maybe that wasn't as lucid as Id hoped, but hopefully you get the idea.
I forgot discretion. A cousin of mine is a midwife and I know she has blabbed a pregnancy when she shouldn't. smile

Rowboat Wed 17-Jul-13 22:34:05

Up for more input Charlotte? Firstly I think its wonderful that you're already thinking about the qualities that a good midwife needs and gives me a lot of hope for your career.
I am on my hopefully second baby but i have had 2 miscarriages too so I have had plenty of experiences with midwives good and not so good. I won't say bad, because I don't think I've had a truly bad experience.
My community midwife has been the same in all but my very first miscarriage and she has been wonderful. We've built up a rapport over the last three years or so. She sees me as an individual and acknowledges and remembers what I know and my preferences etc. I think it has been fundemental in my confidence throughout. She cares too. This time she rearranged an appointment of mine so she could see me instead of another midwife whilst she was on holiday because she really wanted to know I was ok after.mmc in Dec.
The other midwives in the community practice are less good, their facts are a little lacking and one who ran our antenatal classes last time.was abrupt and rude at times. She lacked patience and perhaps awareness of what happens in other health boards. I think.patience and knowledge are so important, you need to be able to trust them with your.pregnancy. Its one of the most exciting, scary and important things in life and you need to know you're in good hands.

I have encounted wonderful midwives in the EPU when losing 2 babies. They went on the journey with you. It.must be easy to get desensitised to the horror of women losing their babies when you see it day in day out, but the understanding and compassion I received in those times was so very necessary to my acceptance and recovery. Each and every lady who.comes through the maternity hospital's doors is having a unique experience, even if you've seen it all, they haven't. It's special, wonderful or sad for them and that needs to be acknowledged and supported.

For the birth of my daughter I had 2 wonderful midwives, the shift change happened just before I hit transition. They were supportive of my wishes, were careful that I got as close to my birth plan as possible but were unobtrusive.
I think that because of the nature of the job, most of the people who enter the profession are compassionate and caring. Or perhaps I've been very lucky.
Good luck with your A levels and I hope you have every success . grin

Charly303 Wed 17-Jul-13 17:28:49

Thank you all so much for your replies, it's brilliant to hear from all you mums/ mums to be what exactly you look for in a midwife! Your replies are invaluable and are making me so excited to pursue a career in midwifery! I know from your replies that you want someone up to date with information, who treats every mother as an individual, as I can now see that each mother will require different levels of assistance, but also knowledge or just simply care. I will definetly have a look at the book and will try to fit it into a busy schedule of work experience and school work! Thank you for the best wishes for my hopeful career, but I too hope you all have a wonderful birth, however you decide to give birth and that your baby will give you every joy you deserve,

Thank you once again!

Charlotte X smile

ColdTeaAgain Wed 17-Jul-13 16:11:07

Personally I don't think a midwife should influence your birth plan, rather they should be open-minded and inform the mother of all their options (so long as medically appropriate for them).

Qualities I would hope for in my community midwife:

Up to date with their knowledge, but still able to use common sense (some health care professionals can be too black and white IYSWIM!)

Thorough - dots and the i's and crosses the t's

Open-minded as mentioned above.

Qualities for a midwife in the delivery room:
A calming influence and able to keep your spirits up!
Safe and reliable - would prefer someone who errs on side of caution.

Good luck with it OP smile

Bunnylion Wed 17-Jul-13 15:36:59

I agree with seriousstuff treat each mother as an individual.

All women are different and have different levels of knowledge and confidence when it comes to birth, I think a midwife should be adaptable to this.

I read a brilliant book that you might find interesting. It's by Michel Odent and called Birth Reborn link you may already know about it but if not please do look it up.

Best of luck with your studies and career smile

purplemurple1 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:25:43


I'm a first timer, 32 weeks, I like that my MW is calm and happy to talk through my concerns etc and doesn't make me feel silly for asking things.

It would be nice to discuss things a bit earlier in the preg though (birth, general bb care, breastfeeding), sometimes it feels a bit like a script and you're not allowed to jump ahead and ask questions because that's for your next appointment. It would also be good if she were more up to date with things like alternative births (water, home etc), pain help/medication (TENS, hypnobirthing etc) as it would be nice to have professional opinions on them.

SeriousStuff Wed 17-Jul-13 14:14:14

I'm 27+4 weeks and I've been very lucky so far.

I always think it's important for midwives to act as if every meeting they have with a new mother is like their first ever meeting as a midwife i.e. a midwife will see thousands of mothers and babies, but for one mother, going to see her midwife for the first time it's exciting and frightening and midwives should be receptive to this.

I have had a couple of midwives who seem to just go through the motions - I've tried to joke and lighten the mood but nothing...!

Good luck in your career!

Charly303 Wed 17-Jul-13 13:43:35

Hi Purple,

Thank you so much for your reply! It was really interesting reading your reply, and I'm really intrigued by hypnobirthing now, will have to read up on that one! Thank you so much for your kind words about my future smile Good luck with your birth and I hope the baby gives you bundles of joy to treasure!

Once again, thank you!

Charlotte X smile

purpleaura Wed 17-Jul-13 10:04:15

Hi Charlotte smile I think its a great sign that you're already thinking about these things. I'm 32 weeks pregnant with my first, and here are my thoughts on your insightful questions: My feeling is that the best midwives are those who can empathise with mums-to-be, whatever their situation. Good midwives listen and then make decisions with mothers, not for them. Finally, when I call her because I'm worried about something (e.g. baby hasn't moved for a while) she is always calm, reassuring and helps put things into a better perspective.

In terms of the birth I want, my midwife hasn't had a great influence because I already have a lot of ideas about what sort of birth I would like (hypnobirthing + waterbirth ideally). Although she has guided me through some key decisions, like how the placenta will be delivered and the vitamin K options for the baby.

I haven't given birth yet, but one thing I find a little unsettling is that I won't meet the midwife who delivers my baby until I arrive at the hospital in labour. So I hope she will be kind, gentle, willing to listen and able to make me feel at ease. I hope she's open to the ideas of hypnobirthing and willing to work with me and my partner to help us have the kind of birth we'd like.

I hope my answers are useful to you. As I said earlier, its brilliant that you are already thinking about these things. It's a sign that you'll be a fab midwife smile Best of luck with your A levels and your career!

purple x

Charly303 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:32:59

Hello, I hope I'm writing this in the correct place! I'm currently studying for my a-levels and hope to become a midwife in the near future as I love the idea of being part of the most special moment in a mothers life. I was wondering, what qualities do you hope your midwife will have? Does the midwife help influence your decision on what birth you hope for e.g water birth? What are your expectations of your midwife, both before the birth and during the labour of him/ her? If you have anything else about the role and significance of a midwife, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your help and sorry for all the questions!!

Many thanks,

Charlotte smile

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