Involving Children in the Midwifery Experience
One of the most rewarding parts of being a midwife involves your children. There is nothing quite like experiencing things through the eyes of a child. Each child is unique and will want to be involved at different levels. It is my privlege to offer them an opportunity to experience midwifery at thier individual interest level. Perhaps your child is like my little friends who came to each prenatal with abundant exitement and would ask questions and want to "help" with every part of mom's care. They would draw me pictures for my office and tell me how they were going to be a midwife when they grew up. Their mother sent me a text several months after their little brother was born and showed me pictures of their Career Day costumes for school...yep, one little midwife and on little mommy. That made me smile.
Or then there are the children who lovingly call me the "Mudwife" and can't wait to come and play with the pretend doppler and help listen to baby. Don't be fooled into thinking that it is just the little girls who get exited to help with mom's care. Some of my little guys have the best questions at our visits and always ask me to show them the baby models so they can see "how big the baby is this time..,"
And then you have the busy little people who just love to come and play with Miss Shannon's toys! They aren't overly interested in all the goings on of the prenatal appointments. They spend their time playing and anxiously await their sticker at the end of each appointment. Children will let you know just how much they want to be involved.
When it come to the birth day just let your child guide you in knowing how much to include them in. I see many children enjoy helping mommy in labor by rubbing her back or comforting her. Some children ask to be at the birth and that is a decision you will need to make depending on your own comfort level and what you feel your child is ready for. Some parents bring the children in just after baby is born and others like to have a period of quiet time until the children arrive. Birth is a normal, natural process so don't be afraid to involve your children at their level of comfort. I strongly suggest that if your younger child will be at your birth that you have another adult who can be responsible for them so that you can focus on your labor and birth. And then if at any point they choose not to be involved there is someone to care for them in another room.