I absolutely love my midwives! Yes, I saw more than one midwife during my pregnancy. I was so fortunate to have found this group of midwives through Google out of all places. The reviews were great and when I called to make an appointment, the receptionist was very friendly! Although, I ended up choosing the midwives for my pregnancy, I have nothing against obstetricians, I just wanted to try having a midwife and see what it was all about!
I knew nothing about what midwives do. When I tell people I am seeing a midwife for my pregnancy, they ask if I am having a water birth at home. Maybe it’s just me and my circle of people I know but, we didn’t know much about midwifery. Well actually, having a midwife doesn’t always mean you’re going to have a water birth at home. I had a midwife with me in the operating room while I was getting a C-section (see My Birth Story). They’re health care providers who are highly educated and specialized in normal, low-risk pregnancies. This is the midwifery group I went with and you can read more about what they do as midwives here.
Why I love them so much:
The Community Birth Program at Village Health Clinic was just so awesome. It was a team of midwives that worked together with doctors, nurse practitioners, LPN’s, lactation consultants, and doulas. They were all so knowledgeable and supportive; just what I needed as a new mom-to-be. My favourite part of the whole experience was the Connecting Pregnancy Groups. They were held once a month for 2 hours. In these group sessions, we get together with other pregnant women due in the same month and get educated about pregnancy. Our prenatal check-ups are included on a one-on-one basis during the group session. Partners and support persons were welcome and most women brought their partners in with them. As much as I wanted Dustin to be there all the time, he could only attend a few because he couldn’t always take the time off work to come.
Connecting Pregnancy Group Topics:
- 1. Nutrition: Pretty straight forward as to what we talked about- healthy eating and how much more to eat during pregnancy.
- 2. How pregnancy affects your body: We learned about signs and symptoms of pregnancy and how to combat symptoms such as nausea.
- 3. Parenting roles and emotions in pregnancy: We did an activity which got us talking about parenting roles and expectations with our partners. For instance, they asked this question: ‘If I have a boy, I will have him circumcised’. Each parent had to hold up a Yes, No or Impartial sign which opened up a discussion if the parents don’t agree. It was a great exercise and it was good to know what we would agree and disagree on when it comes to raising a child.
- 4. Stages of Normal labour: Learned about the signs and symptoms of early labour, the difference between pre-labour and early labour contractions, signs that you are in active labour, and transition. They also went over what to do and how to reach the midwives when you go into labour. We also touched on what to pack in your hospital bag. A very heavy loaded session if you ask me!
- 5. Obstetrical Tool Box: Learned about procedures and tools used during birth. For instance, we learned about the types of induction and what tools are used. FYI: The vacuum does NOT look as scary as it sounds…the forceps looks more intimidating!
- We learned about pain management and all the different ways you can control pain. They also went through all the medications that can be used during labour.
- The best part about this session was when we role-played a Cesarean birth. Each person received a role card (scrub nurse, OBGYN, midwife, pediatrician, etc) and the midwife went over the process of having a C-section. From explaining the roles of each health care provider to learning about all the layers that the surgeon was going to cut into to what happens to the baby immediately after coming out of your womb. I have seen a live C-section before as a nursing student. I watched just behind the surgeon so I had an idea of what to expect. Another heavy loaded group session, of course!
- 6. Doulas and comfort in labour: We learned about what a doula can do during labour and we learned about comfort measures and techniques to use to get our mind off of painful contractions during labour. I was grateful that Dustin was there during that session because he learned how he could support me and how to get involved during labour. Sadly, he never got to give me soothing massages in between agonizing screams or moans because of my C-section.
- 7. Feeding your baby: A lactation consultant (LC) was present during this group session and she talked about breastfeeding. Although I found this very helpful, I think she would have been more useful during our postpartum group sessions when we all had burning questions about breastfeeding. The LC was so great, she holds breastfeeding cafes at her own home where she invites mommas and their babes to connect with each other and learn more about breastfeeding. The cafes are very helpful and it supports a safe and non-judgemental environment for moms having breastfeeding issues.
- 8. Newborn care and early post-partum adjustment: What a lifesaving group session! Some of us already had our babies by this session so this was especially informative and relevant. We learned about what’s normal and what’s not normal for a newborn to do and what to expect post-partum including how to recognize post-partum depression. So many big take-aways from this session and again, I was glad Dustin was present so we can both learn about how to take care of our little Daisy!
- 9. Transition to parenthood: We basically learned more about new born care and talked a bit about parenting. Most of us had a lot of questions regarding our babies.
- 10. Birthday celebration! All August babies were born by then but unfortunately not everyone could attend. We closed the Connecting Pregnancy Group sessions by talking about how parenthood is coming along so far. Of course, we had a little party afterwards!
After the group sessions came to a close, the check-ups continued until I was almost 2 months post-partum. Everytime I came in for a post-partum checkup I had a slew of questions. The amount of post-partum support they provided was tremendous. They gave us the resources and connections if we ever needed extra support; from lactation consultants to breastfeeding support groups. They even gave us a list of physicians taking in new patients.
I highly recommend this group of midwives for anyone thinking about it! With their help, I felt supported and educated throughout my pregnancy. They helped minimize any fear I had about giving birth. This may sound weird but I was really looking forward to going into labour. I felt like they gave us all the tools and information we needed. It made me feel confident enough to want to face labour and delivery.
I hope this post has been enlightening for someone who has never encountered midwifery. I’m not an expert nor do I have all the information for you to make an informed decision. If you are wondering about midwifery I suggest you visit their website and give them a call. I just wanted to write about my experience but feel free to ask me any questions!
If you have ever used a midwife I would love to hear about your experience!