Like all professionals, midwives have quite a few pet-peeves up their sleeves. Running around the hospital halls coaching women through different pregnancies, there's a lot to get done in one day.
In comparison to doulas, nurses, and OBGYNs, WebMD says a midwife is a professional who helps women through pregnancy and in preparation for pregnancy. They can run the prenatal tests needed, they're able to offer an eating and exercise plan to stay healthy during pregnancy, and they can also help a new mama deliver. They really are the Jack of all trades, but unfortunately, they're not always treated with the utmost respect, which can lead to many patients writing off their services.
A midwife doesn't work alone, of course; they also work with a woman's OB and doula (if she has one). Labor and birth is a team effort, after all! Women who choose midwives are typically those who are looking for a more "natural" way of going through labor. At the end of the day though, anyone who is looking for a midwife can most certainly get one. Depending on where one lives, some midwives are covered by insurance, while others are an additional cost. Again, it's situational. Nevertheless, when one acquires a midwife, be sure to look out for these 20 things that annoy them to no end.
With the help of the Internet, it's easy to *think* that you know everything before you even go to the hospital. Some family members Google what to expect during labor and turn that notch up by 1,000. The problem is, these family members are here for support — not to take control from the professionals. It's great they think they know so much about the process, but when they're in the delivery room, it's best to sit back and let the professionals do everything.
One midwife explained how frustrating it is when family members take over her role. They'll begin telling the mama-to-be what to do, even though a medical professional did not advise that. She explained on BlogSpot how one family member, in particular, was telling the woman to "push" when she wasn't told to. "Then from the first push, she is loudly coached, counted off, and urged on 'more, more, more, keep going, push harder harder harder!' And that's about when I start grinding my teeth."
It's easy to get wrapped up in the whole "I'm a patient, please take care of me" deal at hospitals. Medical professionals will do everything in their power to make you feel comfortable and at ease, but please don't take advantage of their kindness, and most importantly, their time. As told by on professional over at NurseBuff, "Some patients admitted in the ward are expecting a hotel-like service. They ask for all sorts of extra packages like pillows, blanket, toiletries, and even meals!" The birthing experience is unique, but hospitals are for all patients — not just your delivery. They can't always afford to drop everything to find you an extra pillow.
When most women find out they're pregnant, they enroll in different classes to get ready for those nine months (and later, birth). They want to prepare and know what to expect, especially for first-time mamas. This, in return, helps midwives in their job. Moms will know the lingo and what to expect. But not every mother does these things.
One midwife told All Nurses "It seems just about every patient I take care of lately, always asks me 'is that safe for the baby?' when they are referring to pain medication in labor," she says." She continues saying "Yet, they are crying and becoming out of control in pain, and not being receptive to the coaching I'm giving them, and if they had done some sort of prenatal education, to begin with, they might have been better prepared to deal with childbirth pain."
A pregnant woman and a new mother are allowed to complain as much as they want. The experience is different for everyone, and some women are feeling different than others. A woman's body changes so much! After delivering a baby, most new moms are told what they need to do by their midwife and doctor, but it doesn't seem like all take the advice given. "I've had to take care of some post-partum patients lately, and I have no doubt that they are having some pain, especially post c-section, but don't continually complain about the pain if you're not going to follow the recommendations I've given, (splinting, TC&DB, ambulating, etc) or refuse pain medication," one midwife told All Nurses.
Before complaining about things post birth, try doing what your medical team is prescribing first.
A midwife's pet peeve isn't always with the patient, of course. Sometimes it's where they work, too. Some hospitals have midwives part of their staff, while others are called in specifically for their services. Venturing from different home or medical facility, one midwife explained how frustrating it is when she can't get her hands on the devices that she needs to perform her job correctly. "My biggest pet peeve is no PNC! One little ultrasound is all I ask, just one. Just so we know that your baby is okay, and doesn't have some tragic anomaly that having a delivery would complicate ..." she told All Nurses.
As soon as a woman finds out she's pregnant, she's going to be flooded with information that she should be doing for her body. She's going to learn real fast that she can no longer sip wine, to cut back on coffee, cut out the smoking habit, and stay fit for as long as she can. This, of course, is easier for some and extremely hard for others. Living an unhealthy lifestyle while pregnant is one midwife's pet peeve via All Nurses. She says "Women who [practice unhealthy habits] through their pregnancies, don't get prenatal care, and then want us to do 'everything' to save their 400-gram 23-weekers" is this woman's pet peeve; and it's clear to see why. If she had been caring for her baby and body throughout pregnancy, they wouldn't be in that position.
Drinking water is incredibly important throughout pregnancy. Being hydrated allows your body to flow effortlessly, pushing nutrients to the baby. "Almost every patient that comes in with 'abdominal pain' and is not 'in labor' is dehydrated," one annoyed midwife explains to The Bump. "I had a patient tell me that she just 'can't drink water, it makes her nauseated,' well that makes your nurse even more nauseated! Not to mention the patient that has only had two liters of Mountain Dew to drink that day..." If you're thirsty enough to drink sugar-loaded sodas, you can push through the blandness of water to make sure you have a healthy pregnancy.
If you're having a scheduled C-section, most women are prepared for the big day. They've showered, their bags are packed, and they can hardly sleep knowing their little baby will be there in just a few hours. However, not all labors are scheduled or planned — most just happen. "When your labor is a surprise, of course, it's expected that you drop everything and just show up to the hospital. But, it's really gross when people show up to a scheduled induction or C-section without bathing. This happens more often than you would think and they all can tell" one midwife told Cafe Mom.
Medical professionals will always treat you with high standards regardless of bodily odors or fluids, so that side isn't always glamorous.
Labor can be an intense pain for most. They may feel like they're ready to push, but they're nowhere near where they need to be yet. One midwife told Cafe Mom how frustrating it is when women going through labor say they're at a level-10 pain-wise and need an epidural when in reality, they're nowhere near "show time" yet. "When women ask for an epidural after they are only one centimeter dilated, the nurses think you are wimpy," she said. "They are nice about it, but secretly they are rolling their eyes. While this pet peeve may upset new mamas, don't let it deter you; only you know your body and need to do what's best in that moment.
Nine months doesn't seem like long enough time to prepare for human life, but women have been going through this for millions of years; it's plenty of time to mentally and physically prepare. Going into pregnancy or labor without doing any homework at all is frustrating for a midwife to see, not to mention makes their job harder. One told Cafe Mom, "Would you run a marathon without training? No. Labor is like running one, so prepare. Laborie doesn't like it when people have a plan in their mind about how they want things to go, but it's unrealistic. It makes everyone's experience more difficult."
I'm sorry to break it to you, but most medical professionals know when you're lying. This could be by body language, but it's mainly due to lab tests that they have run. The proof is in the pudding! When a midwife, nurse, or doctor asks how you're feeling, what kind of medication you're on, or what kind of symptoms you're experiencing, be truthful. If you're afraid of how something sounds, it doesn't matter; honesty is the best policy in these cases.
Many midwives get upset when they prescribe a woman medication not knowing that she's already been on another type of medication that she neglected to tell the medical staff. Mixing medications without professional guidance is dangerous — especially when pregnant.
"We get annoyed when people think all we do is hold a woman's hand during labor," one midwife told BuzzFeed. Women who hired midwives do tend to lean on a more natural-style of birth, but that doesn't mean your midwife isn't educated or able to handle labor. "Obviously we do give emotional support, but we have degrees and are medically skilled. We put in IV drips, top up epidurals, give insulin infusions, take [samples], and stitch up skin in the most [personal] places you could possibly imagine." Midwives deserve more credit and appreciation for all that they do to make your labor and pregnancy possible.
This is a sensitive topic but it needs to be said. Most women are afraid of the art of labor due to the fact that they might defecate during the process. In hindsight, however, going number two is completely natural! In the grand scheme of birth, medical professionals are seeing a ton of liquids and body parts at the same time; if they encounter your fecal matter, it's just one and the same at that point. "We can't stress this enough: We really don't mind, we're used to it, plus it's just a fact of life," a midwife told BuzzFeed. "But some women worry and fixate on it to the extent they don't push effectively, which can make labor last longer. In short, please just poo."
Depending on where you're delivering and if your midwife works at the hospital or from another service, midwives have very long shifts. Some days they're only dealing with one woman, while other days they're working with more. One told BuzzFeed, "We do nine or 12-hour shifts on a changing rota, which means we can't guarantee having a day off on special occasions." Missing Christmas with family or working on your birthday is something most medical professionals prepare for, however. It's just part of the job. "We regularly work over the end of our shifts completing our extensive paperwork: risk assessments, individual needs forms, care plans, catheter forms, cannula forms...it feels endless."
A midwife wouldn't have the successful work that they do if they weren't medically certified. Many have the same skillsets a nurse has, it's just that they're specifically dedicated to prego mamas. "When someone tells us that they think having a midwife is a nice idea but they wanted to be safe so they chose an obstetrician," is this midwife's pet peeve, as told over at Generations Midwifery. "It doesn’t upset midwives that you believe that you will get safe care from an obstetrician. You will. What upsets us is the incorrect belief that midwives do not provide care that is just as safe." Midwives would not have a job if they weren't highly capable of fulfilling the role they worked so hard for. If you don't want to work with a midwife, that's totally fine, but don't let the reasoning be because you don't think it's "safe."
There is more than one kind of midwife. There is a certified midwife (master’s degrees in nurse-midwifery) and a nurse midwife; someone who does both. According to How to Become, to become a certified nursing midwife (CNM), it takes at least eight years of schooling to achieve. It's not like you can just be given a certificate online. Again, these certifications can vary on the state and country. For this midwife form Canada, it frustrates her when "people are surprised that Ontario midwives are trained in a vigorous university degree." She goes on, saying, "We are primary care providers (meaning we are the person responsible for all the clinical care) for pregnant people and we deliver babies! It is a big responsibility! Of course, we are well trained!"
Every woman's pregnancy is different. Some women feel healthy and ready to go while heavily pregnant, while others are on bedrest early on. It's a varying experience, but being pregnant doesn't mean you can't be yourself. A midwife told The Midwife Blog, "Some women are still under the impression that pregnancy is an illness and become unable to perform everyday tasks like getting their own drink, caring for their baby and sometimes even taking their own underwear off!" Just because you have a bun in the oven doesn't mean you can't go for walks or cook yourself food. If you were specifically told not to is one thing, but for the most part, it's totally normal to go on with everyday life.
Surprise! You don't need to be a woman to be a midwife; you can definitely be a male. It's kind of similar to that moment in Meet the Fockers when everyone makes fun of Greg for being a nurse because being a nurse was "for women." On the contrary, a nurse or midwife can be either gender! Let's get rid of all that close-minded small talk, shall we? As told on Metro "'Midwife’ might sound like the opposite of ‘midhusband’, but the word actually comes from the old German ‘mit (with) weib (woman)’. So the ‘wife’ bit actually refers to the mum-to-be. And one of the best midwives I’ve ever worked with is a six-foot bearded bloke." You see? A midwife is actually in reference to the woman giving birth — not the person helping throughout delivery.
Some women have a very specific plan for their labor and delivery. They know what they're looking for and what they'd hope the experience to be like. However, some are afraid to voice their desires to their midwife, worried about being turned down or judged. In retrospect, midwives are there for you! They're hired to be supportive and informative. They're in the room with you to guide you and make sure the experience is healthy and simple. A midwife told Generations Midwifery that her greatest pet peeve is "When people think that midwives won’t support your choice to have a hospital birth or to use pain medications during birth."
The medical staff working with you and your baby are all on the same team; be honest and upfront with them.
As mentioned, nurses and midwives are there for a reason; use their talents and skills! Don't be afraid to ask questions or voice your concerns. That's why they're there, and this includes desires during delivery..."Without flinching, if your mother-in-law is making you [beyond annoyed], tell your nurse. She will be more than delighted to tell said mother-in-law that visiting time is over. And then take the blame for it. And she'll probably enjoy doing it because your mother-in-law is probably making her [feel the same] too." Everyone is on the same team and they're there to make your experience a memorable and safe one.