How to get the most out of your midwife.
Midwives play a vital role during pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal periods.
Research has shown the more positive the experience is between expectant parents and their midwife, the better the experience of childbirth is likely to be.
Australian midwife, child health nurse and Philips AVENT ambassador, Jane Barry gives her tips for making the most of your midwife.
NO QUESTION IS OFF LIMITS
To really get to know your midwife, their philosophies on pregnancy and birth and to begin building a strong relationship from your very first meeting, plan some questions ahead of your appointment. Aim to be honest and open with your midwife to help build an authentic relationship with them. If she knows you and your body, she can support you better. Remember no questions are off limits or too embarrassing to be answered. Communication is key!
INVOLVE YOUR PARTNER (OR BIRTH PARTNER)
Your midwife is there to support both partners in the relationship. Bring your go-to support person or partner to each of your midwife appointments so they can learn what to expect during your pregnancy, the birth and also some of the ways they can support you during this exciting time. Bringing your partner may also help you to remember what points you wanted to raise, recall the information later on and help you make informed choices.
IF IN DOUBT GET A SECOND OPINION
After your baby is born, asking your midwife to support you with breastfeeding, baby bathing or while settling your baby could give you confidence in caring for your newborn. While it’s good to be open to advice, try to trust your own your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, ask about other options and do your own research. Always remember – this is your baby, your body, your birth.
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION
We know your midwife gets paid to provide your care and you may feel you’re contributing sufficiently in this way. But midwives can feel overworked and under-appreciated at times. Sending a simple message like a thank you card can help convey that you value their care and help make the relationship stronger.
This article was originally published on Practical Parenting.