Monday, May 31, 2010

"Do You Feel Like Pushing?"

When I hear that a woman has hired a Midwife to attend her birth in her home, and then hear of all of the unnecessary interactions or interventions that were done, I want to cry and scream and throttle someone all at the same time. I'm not sure if Midwives have had the Medical model ( as opposed to what they should have - the Midwifery model ) drilled into their training, or if they haven't learned how to sit back and simply observe. But either way, it is robbing women of the experience that they could have in a home birth.

Recently I have heard several times of Midwives asking their clients, who are busy in transition, "Do you feel like pushing?", and I want to scream. If you have to ask your client whether or not she feels like pushing, you have your answer. If she's not beginning to grunt and push, then NO! She doesn't feel like pushing. I'm not sure whether some Midwives believe that certain clients will be an anomaly and never get the urge to push, keeping baby inside forever unless the Midwife does not step in and save the day by asking. I'm not sure what the reason behind this is. But it is not only unnecessary, it is interfering with mom's groove in labor. Now you have a client who is thinking, "Do I feel like pushing? Maybe I don't know when to push." You have now taken her out of her body, where she was happily laboring ( okay, maybe not all "happily", lol ) and into her head with concern or questions.

Guess what? You can learn so much by simply sitting back and observing. This goes for vaginal exams, pushing, whether or not baby is okay ( without touching, rubbing, suctioning, talking, etc ), and any other unnecessary interference in labor.

And ladies? If you have a Midwife who asks you this question, please tell her that YOU will let her know when you are ready to push, and to please stop interfering. Though, I would recommend finding out prenatally how your Midwife practices. Ask to get in contact with previous clients. Ask them how the Midwife was during their birth. Make sure that you have a truly "With Woman" Midwife, and not one that is fearful of birth or who over medicalizes it. Out of the last 10 clients, how many have ended up in the hospital? Make sure you have a Midwife who respects and honors your wishes. If you ever find out that your Midwife does not ALLOW ( or even has PREFERENCES ) you to birth in a certain way, such as on your bed or in water .... find someone else. This is a violation of your rights, and shouldn't be imposed on you.


  1. Mine didn't... but she did ask if I was already pushing lol. I was...

  2. Mine didn't either, I let them know when I was ready. Homebirth was amazing...

  3. Thank you for this post! My midwife asked me this question after checking and finding I was at 7 cm. I didn't hear it as a question, I heard it as a suggestion. I stopped listening to my body.

    I pushed and pushed and she coached me on how to push. After an hour and a half she checked me again. Baby had moved back up and I had been pushing without his head to help. My cervix was swollen and I was back to 3 cm!

    I'm sure you can guess where this is going...

    After pushing for so long it was nearly impossible not to. And baby's heartbeat was starting to worry her. She suggested we go to the hospital for an epidural to slow things down and see if the swelling would be reduced.

    I ended with a c-section of course.

    Next time I will listen to my body, and if anyone breaks my focus with silly questions I will ask them to leave the room.