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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Lavon

This question tossed me as a midwife...

A potential client asked me the most difficult question I've been asked yet. Not about scary birth complications, but it required honesty and a little soul searching. She asked, "What, if any, are your hesitations in taking a first time mom as a client?"

Sure, I can explain that the transfer rate for primips is twice as high, and not just in my practice but world-wide for out of hospital births. Or I can discuss the ways we work as a team to support rest and nourishment in early labor, which can last over 24 hours sometimes, before labor gets more intense and rest is no longer an option. Or if we know that marathon runners aim for 60-90 grams of carbohydrates AN HOUR, please don't be mad when I ask you to eat bites of honey or other sweet things in between pushes... after asking you to avoid sugar your entire pregnancy! (That does seem rude!)

The honest answer is - I just know what it means for ME. You will call me too early in your labor, you will struggle to rest with early contractions, I will be at your house twice as long as a seasoned birthing body's house, and probably spend one extra night on your couch because you needed me to keep checking on you and your baby.

And it's ok. Just remember I'm allergic to cumin and I get cold easily, so please throw an extra blanket on the couch for me, and call me when you need me. It's OK.

If a person has several children, then they had to do it the first time, too. And anything we do the first time, we have to try different approaches, or positions, to see what works - especially if we've never even seen someone else do it! So your midwife has either seen it before, done it herself, or both. Welcome to the birth world!

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