Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Learning the art of mothering - midwives

I’ve been reflecting lately on how much my mothering has changed since we first found out we were expecting Isabelle some 5+ years ago (wow!). In particular, I’ve been thinking about the women along the way who shared their wisdom and experience. There are a lot of books out there about mothering and babies – I’ve read a fair number of them and a couple do have some useful knowledge to pass on. But as I reflect on it, for all the time I spent reading books and scouring the internet for answers, it’s the mother-to-mother connections that imparted the things that matter.
There’s a good reason why 98% of midwifery clients are satisfied with their care – it’s a model that works for women and their families. While neither of my babies was delivered by midwives (emergency c-sections both), I attribute our survival through two rough pregnancies to their respectful and wise guidance.
That said, there’s a practical side to this mothering business and here’s what my midwives taught me:
- don’t bring a brand-new baby to church: the baby will be fine, but it will make you cry when people try to touch her
- diaper cream is more likely to trap urine/feces against the skin than protect the skin from it: air and lots of it will stave off rashes
- hold your baby and nurse her: you truly don’t have anything better to do

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