International Day of the Midwife

During the first 6 weeks after giving birth mums have a greater need for emotional support and her partner, mother and midwives are her biggest support.
Receiving conflicting advice can be very normal. From this survey we see that midwives make a positive difference to mum’s confidence. Conflicting advice isn’t necessarily a scary thing, mum gets to choose what advice best works for her. Every experience is different. We would like to acknowledge the overwhelmingly positive responses highlighting the amazing job midwives do in supporting new mums.

The International Day of the Midwife is coming up this Friday May 5th, and in conjunction with Medela I’ve decided to share a little with you about my own midwife experiences! Medela recently conducted some insightful research with over 7,500 Aussie mums to find out how a Midwife shaped their new role as a parent. (If you’d like to check out their findings click here).

In the spirit of keeping The Bean Bible local to Geelong at the heart of it, my experiences are all through the Geelong Hospital. When pregnant with Evie, I went through a midwife program, which meant that every check up I attended outside the hospital was done with a varying rotate of midwives. Only once did I experience one that I didn’t think was up to par, and my experience on a whole was absolutely amazing. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get to see one or two of the midwives again – and if you’re extra lucky like me, one of them will deliver your baby!

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Our last photo as a child-free couple the morning of Evies induction.

During my check ups with Evie I saw a midwife named Holly a couple of times. When Evie decided not to come out on time and I had to be induced, it was Holly who was on shift to kick off the induction which was really great having a familiar face. Just to highlight how amazing our midwives are in our public hospital though here’s the lengths Holly went to for me. After knocking off her shift that night, she came back on at 7am as I was literally being rushed through the theatre doors. Knowing I was having my baby that morning she had run to find me on the ward and quickly swapped with the midwife who was going to be taking me through – it was Holly who saw Evie first, who cuddled her, who helped bring her over to me face and who carefully helped us breast feed in recovery. She was an absolute angel, and my delivery wouldn’t have been the same without her – it was a crazy, hectic time with an emergency cesar and she helped bring some calm. I took her a card and some chocolate 2 weeks after Evie was born and I still asked about her the next time around!

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Hunter top, Evie bottom.

Did you know 83% of mums said the midwives help them feel more confident entering motherhood?

But that 62% also said they received conflicting advice from midwives. What was your experience like?

Personally, I saw midwives during pregnancy, during birth and then maybe once or twice after my babies were born before being handed onto maternal health nurses. That is where I started to receive the conflicting advice, and advice I didn’t necessarily think I wanted to follow. Midwives on the other hand were always fairly consistent and informed for me. Receiving conflicting advice doesn’t always have to be a terrible thing though – no one is saying that their piece of advice is the one, singular right way so perhaps as mothers it’s a chance for us to take all the advice on board and sift through it until we find the perfect fit for us and our babies. Do you agree?

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Evie 

I think we need to sing our praises to midwives – if you’ve ever had to be monitored in the public hospital during a pregnancy, you’ll see how over worked those ladies are. They rock. But, as in any profession, you’ll come across a personality you don’t like, advice that doesn’t fit, or maybe just someone who isn’t actually that nice. I had that. There was a horrible old midwife on the ward who wouldn’t let me put Chris’ surname on Evie’s name plaque on her cot because ‘how was she to know he was really the father.’ YEP – it happened! But sometimes we have to be ducks and let that water run off our back and focus on whats important to us.

As mums we need to take control back and boost each other – give each other advice in the best, non judgmental way that we can. Make each other cups of tea and talk about colicky kids, or kids who don’t sleep –  bring in all of our information together, be confident, attend mothers groups, make our own tribes. And take your midwife back some flowers after you’re up to leaving the house post baby – cos those women deserve it.
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Hunter top, Evie bottom.
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