Advice - Midwife unreliable and now I'm scared


Ladies, I've got 8 weeks until my due date and now nothing seems to be going according to plan. I had a midwife who was to be my birth support but she has continuously cancelled and put off my ante-natal appointments and failed to return some of my phone calls. I don't feel I can rely on her to be there 'on the day' and think I have to give her a miss. But I've only got a couple of months to go and now I seem to be headed exactly where I don't want to go with this second birth. I have an obstetrician, who is pretty uncommunicative, like most obs, but I went with him because he was the only option with this midwife. Now I'm stuck just with an ob and a planned hospital birth because of my last pph. I'm terrified I'll have an awful birth like last time where my wishes weren't respected. I feel like I'm back at square one. I don't know what to do! I want to give birth how I want to, learning all that I have through this site and lots of reading, but I'm worried that's not going to happen now. Thanks for letting me vent ladies.

Hi Mumwithone

OK, where are you geographically? At least we can put our collective heads together to see if we can find you alternatives to what you have.

I think you are wise to be rethinking your plans. You still have a while to go.

Good luck. Come on ladies. On with the thinking caps!


check out the yahoo group for c-birth. It is a group for support of women who do unassisted childbirth. These women are amazing. Thier stories are inspiring. You can do it.

I wish I knew more about midwifery practice in the UK. I have it in my head that the nurse-midwife is the standard there. If you have registered midwives freely practicing homebirths, then it would be simple to begin Monday morning interviewing for a replacement – and checking references. I think unassisted childbirth is fine in some cases, but many women really need the support of good midwives. After attending the birth of my granddaughter last year I was reminded just how intense human birth is (or has become?) and would not have wanted to be alone in that situation. And mumwithone – your pph probably will not repeat itself, but the experience is permanently etched in your brain – all the more reason to have very good support by people you have confidence in. Pick up the phone – you have plenty of time.

If you are not getting the midwifery care you need you could write to the midwifery complaints people or
buy a doula?

I am pretty sure if you go to your GP and inform then of the lack of service they should be able to get you a new midwife on the NHS.

Where abouts in UK are you situated? Your local PCT should also know about it as methinks they pay the bills.

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference
Look into the eyes - They hold the key.

mumwithone, 8 weeks is still enough time to find another baby-catcher. I think youre wise to wonder if your mw will be there for you on baby-day when she's hard to reach now.
I hope you find someone else quickly, so you can set your mind at ease. 8 weeks away is when the birth-fear starts to set it for me, regardless of my plans.

but HI SUE!!!!!!!
been missing ya!

how're things going for you?

you may like to spend some time letting go of your past birth experience. I know you can do this through the hypnobirthing stuff- but probably a good therapist could help.

I think my phrase "permanently etched" did not leave room for healing - sorry.

Thanks for all your comments ladies. I'm actually in Australia, not the UK. When I initially looked into having my own midwife I found very few available - no insurance for independent midwives in Australia. But there are doulas so that may be an option. This midwife is going to ring me today to 'chat' after I let her know I wasn't happy to continue with her. I guess I'll see what she has to say, but trust is important I think.

I felt I had dealt well with the past birth stuff because I did lots of research, had decided how I wanted this experience to be different and knew I had a birth support person there. This just seemed to throw everything out of whack for me and now I feel worried. I don't want the same situation as last time, where I had an ob who 'did what he liked' and whatever midwife (or in my case midwives) was on shift on the day. I think the midwife I had was most responsible for the 'damage' caused. I want my wishes respected this time.

Thanks for the support. You're right, that at least I still have time to work something else out.

Oh my...I hope the midwifery scene has improved there in recent years. One of our early members, Deb, after a difficult birth was having a hard time finding a good midwife in Oz. I will see if I can locate her....

Hi Mumwithone

It appears from my Googling that there are separate Midwives Associations in each state. I have never had a homebirth, and wish I had, but we have always lived more than 1 1/2 hours from Perth and the nearest obstetric care, so it was not really an option.

I suggest you contact your relevant State organisation. I wish I could give you more information. I can't even get the WA Community Midwives site to load. Hope they haven't disappeared! Nevertheless, it has been a busy day. Time for a sleep.



Thanks for the ideas. I spoke to the midwife yesterday and we mutually decided she wasn't going to be reliable on the day. As it turns out, she's the only independent midwife close enough to where I live. But from what I've learned, and a very supportive mum and husband, we'll set up a strong birth plan and they both said they're happy to advocate on my behalf. I feel much better knowing all this, and have accepted that's the way it'll have to be. I know I'm much more knowledgable this time around and I know what I want - and don't want! It's just so disappointing that the system is set up this way. Why should you have to fight for a natural, active birth free from unnecessary medical intervention? I watched an interesting DVD on breastfeeding as well and it showed just how much hospitals make it difficult for women to feed their bubs' successfully. I'm sure there's a book in that alone!

I'd definately consider a doula if you can't find another midwife who is totally supportive. they can really help ensure you have a good birth, even if you are at hospital with an OB. i've had a lot of friends use them, and even in hospital with OB's had great births and were very supported.

Re your last birth...I recently discovered something call EFT,w hich can be very helpful for working through traumatic memories. This may sound crazy, but I'll put it out there anyway!

it's a tapping thing, to open up channels of energy blocked by physical or emotional things. I know it sounds odd, but I've found it so helpful (and it got my son sleeping, so I'm a believer!). the website explains it, and if you google EFT ou get loads.

I was told that for memories you can picture them as a movie, and then tap on the movie memory. you give the memory a name (ie "the birth") and then tap a phrase like "even though i have this movie memory of "the birth" I fully and completely accept myself."
and then as you go round the points, your reminder phrase is "the birth"--or whatever you called your movie.
you can also do it for anxiety of the birth "ie even though i have this anxiety..."

this will make no sense, but...if you have a look at the website or search on EFT it'll make sense. I've found it to be really amazing stuff and have read a lot of amazing things about it too.

perhaps can be of some help...


Thanks Kiki, I had a bit of a look at the site and will read the info in more detail. It sounds like just what I need for this birth. I'm glad I have my mum's and dh's support. I think that will really make a difference, that and having a birth plan in place. Knowing what to expect this time should make things much easier with being assertive about what I want.

Mum...I did track down Debbie's email - but it bounced back :(

Hopefully the others have given you ideas you can utilize.

Please keep us posted - we are always on the edge of our seats as a ww birth draws near.

Prayers and blessings,


I appreciate you trying to get in touch with Deb for me. I've looked around and contacted the midwifery coalition and association and unfortunately the woman I had is the only independent midwife in my area. In Australia there are very few because they can't get any insurance coverage! I hope this will change in the future.

Anyway, I'm feeling pretty positive after hearing from some of the lovely WW ladies and speaking to my dh and mum - both of whom said they were happy to support me to have the birth I want. We're all going to sit down to work out my birth plan and know exactly what I want. Mum said she was happy to 'get violent' with the hospital midwives if need be LOL.

It's great to have the support of this site and I've learned a huge amount about birthing in a way that helps support the female body rather than damage it.

I'll definitely keep everyone posted on how I go - only seven weeks until my due date now.

Hi Mumwithone

Your Mum rocks! I am hoping to have an active part in the birth of any grandchildren my kids might produce.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the Grannies Department as late-ish baby boomer women, who were the first ones to en-masse stand up to, and challenge doctors and midwives who wanted us to 'lie down and be nice while labouring', when they eventually support their daughters through labour and birth.

My Mum was not there for the birth of our babies. She would no sooner ask a doctor or nurse a question, let alone challenge their authority in the labour ward, than fly to the moon. I am an only child from a long 'Twilight Sleep' labour, so my Mum still has very little idea at the age of 96 about what happened during her labour and my birth, and she certainly has never supported any other woman, so she is blissfully ignorant about what actually happens, poor darling. She missed out completely on the mind-blowing buzz of birthing her only baby, but at least they didn't hurry the process, and she has no incontinence or prolapses. Interesting, eh?

You are so lucky to have a potentially 'violent' Mum as an ally!



Hi Louise,

It's interesting to see the way things have and haven't changed through the generations. Mum and I got talking about my first birth and about her own birth with me and she said, rightly, that we were both abused. She's angry about the way she was treated and then how I was. She was given an epidural involuntarily and ended up with loads of painful stitches. She was sent home from hospital with a baby who was losing weight and was unable to walk herself she was in so much pain. She says she's angry about how I was treated too - I wonder how far we've really come. At least women are starting to be able to assert themselves more but I think there's still a long way to go yet.