Communicating with your Midwife

We'd all agree that good communication is essential for an effective relationship with anyone, but especially for your relationship with your midwife. A good relationship with your midwife - one that is founded upon good communication - can lead to better care and a more satisfying experience of that care.

Your relationship with your midwife is an important one that can last for many years if you birth several babies with the same midwife, as many women chyoose to do. It is a partnership with an emphasis on shared responsibility and active participation in care. You and your midwife work together with the shared goal of a healthy and satisfying experience for you and for your baby.

Good communication means that you and your midwife work as a team.

Good communication includes:

listening to your midwife feeling listened to and understood mutual respect being honest asking questions following through on agreed plans

Be honest with your midwife

Your midwife cannot do her job if you aren’t forthcoming about the things that are concering you. Share your concerns, details of any new symptoms, how you are feeling and what has been happeing for you since your last visit to your midwife. If you have been unable to follow through on agreed plans, let your midwife know, as she would for you.

If there is something that is scaring you, let your midwife know. She can reassure you and help you to feel more comfortable with what is happening.

Write it down

It's a great idea to write down all the questions that you have before your appointment, so that you can be confident that nothing important will be missed. Between appointmnets, many questions will come to you, so write them down as they come to you and your midwife will welcome the opportunity to address them with you in your appointment.

Likewise, it's also a good tip to take some notes as your midwife speaks so that you can refer to this new information between appointments. An hour-long appointment can include lots of information, and it's only natural that some things will not be remembered. Writing things down can help you to recall what was said.

Ask questions

Full understanding of what your midwife tells you is key to good communication, and it is your job to ensure that you have fully understood what your midwife has said to you, just as your midwife needs to be sure that she has fully understood you. So do ask questions if you are confused or unsure.

It's not "that important" and I don't want to bother my midwife

Some people are embarrassed, worried about bothering their midwife with questions or concerns, or feel that their concerns aren't important enough to raise with their midwife. This is understandable, but try to keep in mind that this is what your midwife is there for: to ensure that all of your care needs are met. If you can't let your midwife know something, she can't be in a position to help you. Remember that you have engaged the care of your midwife so that you can feel confident, well cared for and safe.

You need to feel listened to

Do you feel that your midwife listens to you? This is a very important aspect of the quality of communication with your midwife. When you speak to your midwife, you should have her undivided attention and she should check with you that she has understood you correctly.

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