Why Am I Here?
I’m here because I want more midwives. I’m here because I believe so passionately about the midwives model of care that I want to make midwifery more attainable, sustainable and realistic as a career goal for women.
I love birth. I love women. I love babies. I’m good at what I do. I’m not afraid of it. There is one thing I have a problem with though, and that is the expectation set out by the home birth midwifery community that as a home birth midwife you should be on call all the time for your clients. The idea that our lives and our families mean less than each woman’s individual birth experience is unreasonable and unsustainable.
Midwives families are suffering. Midwives are suffering. Midwifery students are suffering. And because of this, women are suffering.
99% of American women do not have a guarantee about who will be the provider caring for them at their birth. And for most of their labor experience the provider will not even be anyone they've ever met before (even briefly) because it will be the nurses at the hospital. The midwife or doctor on call will most likely pop in upon arrival and maybe once every couple of hours until it’s time to push.
Home birth midwives have reacted to that model with an extreme 180degree shift - guaranteeing that THEY and they alone will be THE ONE at all of their prenatal appointments, they will be THE ONE there for them during their labor and birth and they will be THE ONE there at all of their postpartum appointments
I don’t think this model is sustainable, I don’t think this model makes for more midwives. I think this model makes for less midwives, which makes less midwives available to women.
I believe there is ENOUGH difference between the medical model and the midwives model that there is VAST middle ground of number of care providers in order to bring the midwives model of care to more women.
Even the “Midwives Model of Care” ™ doesn’t say that it needs to be THE SAME MIDWIFE providing the continuous hands on assistance, monitoring the physical psychological and spiritual aspects, or providing individualized care. There is a difference between “Continuity of Care” and “Continuity of Carer”
The midwives model of care is about personalized, holistic, respectful and safe care. A midwife can provide that type of care whether they meet a woman at 13 prenatal appointments, 5 prenatal appointments or at none. A midwife who has one or two prenatals with a woman and provides that type of care prenatally can be right there with the woman in spirit without being there physically. A midwife who provides that kind of care at a woman’s birth can have a big impact, even if they’ve never met before and will never meet again.
Good midwives impact women, they empower women, they “stay with women” emotionally whether they are physically present or not. A Midwife’s job is to empower women, not create in them a dependency on “their midwife.” Not only does this create the possibility of a relationship with unhealthy boundaries, but I believe it has taken away from a woman’s own community, and the ability of friends, sisters, mothers neighbors to support EACH OTHER in birth.
I think we need a new way. I think we need to allow midwives to have lives and have families. I think midwives need to work together in partnership. We need to work together to train new midwives, allowing them to take the time off they need when they need it. And midwives need to be able to have some semblance of a normal life.
And we have to allow women to take responsibility for their own birth experiences again. And take care of each other again.
I not only think it’s possible, I think it’s better. I think with a new model we could have more midwives who could help more women.
I am too good of a midwife to be knocked out of a career because I don’t want to do it “their way” And I think you are too. There are a lot of people like me. A lot of women with a passion for women and birth, that would be GREAT midwives and help LOADS of women if it didn’t have to be at the expense of their own families and friends, and most importantly, themselves.
That’s why I’m here. I’m glad you’ve joined me.