Midwifery Care FOREVER
It’s official. This blog is shifting from, “How to have a baby,” to, “What happens when you’re done having babies.”
As my focus shifts from baby growing/raising, I have found that I am, in fact, still a woman.
Don’t worry, I have a point.
Any of us who have experienced midwifery care can attest that there is something special about it. Often, when I meet women who go from your standard two minute OB visit (after an hour in the waiting room) to a typical midwifery visit, are blown away by midwifery care.
They mention how the visit was so long and they were able to really talk to the midwife and get their questions answered.
Women notice that rather than just using technology and tests to assess wellness and health of the baby, their midwife touched their belly, listened to the baby, and was cognizant of social and emotional factors that may impact their maternal and birthing health.
The fear regarding what will be done to them during labor and birth disappears as they build a relationship of trust with their provider that feels like it goes beyond medical needs.
Some women, at the end of their birthing years, express sadness that the relationship they had with their midwife may be coming to an end. In fact, I think that some women who enter birth work as doulas or childbirth educators, actually do so in an effort to maintain these relationships and the good feelings that go along with them.
My youngest baby is almost six, and I can’t say I was greatly saddened to move on from baby raising. It was a pretty exhausting time period with numerous unique stresses.
I haven’t thought much about midwifery care for myself, after all, I wasn’t pregnant!
As I am getting older and discovering the weird way your monthly cycle changes and the extra weight that seems to stick around your middle, I found myself much like a new, confused, expecting mother.
I was doing some embarrassing searches on the Internet…
Remind me to clear my search history.
I was wondering what was going on with me but feeling too embarrassed to ask anyone I knew. I should probably be getting well-woman care, but the thought never really occurred to me. I’m more likely to visit my Chiropractor than an OB.
Things got concerning enough that I finally made an appointment with a local CPM that I like and trust.
We chatted about my questions. She took some notes. We talked about what was going on. We talked about life too and the challenges of raising those babies into teenagers.
After I unloaded all my emotional and physical baggage at her doorstep, something amazing happened.
She knew exactly what was going on with me.
I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t losing my mind. (Well, I was a little, but there were options to help!)
I was just a woman who was no longer worried about the strange new world of pregnancy and birth, but a slightly older woman navigating the early stages of peri-menopause. (New word. Yay for vocabulary lessons!)
My midwife made some suggestions for things that may help. She filled me in on what was going on with my body. Which, despite my impending 40s, is still surprisingly mysterious.
I took her advice. I started taking a little better care of myself. I added some supplements to my repertoire that she mentioned may help.
I’m a month out and I feel SO MUCH BETTER.
I just thought that all these random things that were going on with me physically and emotionally were unconnected. I thought maybe I was going nuts. Or maybe I just couldn’t handle life anymore. Maybe I was stressed out.
But my midwife had some answers, some advice, and some help to offer.
I wish I had gone to see her a year ago. It would have saved me so much grief and confusion.
Which brings me to my public service announcement today.
Make an appointment with your midwife.
Even if you aren’t pregnant.
Even if you have no plans of EVER being pregnant again.
Midwives, and yes, even home birth midwives, offer more than just birth care.
They almost always offer well woman care.
You can see her for your annual exam.
You can get labs done.
She knows things about women’s health and the female life-cycle that people simply don’t talk about.
She is probably also very aware of natural ways to help handle and ease some of the changes that happen as we age. She can help you find ways to support normal female wellness.
It reminds me of those early days of pregnancy and the overall yuck and misery that we have come to accept as a cultural norm.
I won’t argue that pregnancy is all flowers and roses. It isn’t. Neither is menstruation or menopause or many of the things that women are blessed with.
But we have come to believe that all things female suck all the time- and this is not true.
There is, actually, hundreds of years of female wisdom and experience that can greatly help ease the transitions in life that women rhythmically experience.
There are foods that help. There are herbs that help. There is even great help in simply talking to another, more experienced, woman.
This wisdom from past generations isn’t limited simply to birthing and we shouldn’t limit our use of midwifery care to simple birthing.
Call your midwife.
Make an appointment. Yes, you should pay her! It’s her job. She will be worth every penny.
This is just one more way that midwives can help heal our culture.
I just love them.