Your midwife is your life-line during pregnancy, for questions, advice and support, so it’s a good idea to get on the right side of her…
Chirpy, quiet, young, motherly, straight-talking – or guilty of all these traits. Your midwife doesn’t have to be the type of person you’d normally be mates with. But you do need to get a level of connection that will help both of you get on with your job.
One thing to clear up is that, despite what you see on TV, one midwife won’t deal with all your needs. She’ll be part of a team but each one of these midwives will help you have a healthy pregnancy.
1) Plan what to ask your midwife
Midwives have hectic schedules, so make sure you get everything you want out of your appointment. Think ahead about any questions you want to ask. Write them down, and if your partner is coming along, he can do the same.
Make sure you’re honest with your midwife. She can help and support you through your pregnancy much better if she knows you well.
'If your midwife knows what really worries you in your pregnancy or about the birth, she can spend time reassuring you and keeping you properly informed of what you need to know,’ says Dr Sandra Wheatley, social psychologist who specialises in parenting.
Your midwife will also be making notes on your file and handing it over to other midwives, so be honest with her and she can pass this information onto other midwives involved with your care.
2) Don’t be afraid to speak up
If during your appointment with your midwife, she is doing or saying something that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to speak up. Just ask, or your midwife may assume you already know. Explaining what is happening with your pregnancy is an important part of your midwife’s job and she won’t mind if you ask questions.
Ask your midwife what you can expect from the next appointment. You may well want to know when you’ll first hear your baby's heartbeat, so your partner can come along, too.
3) Stay in touch with your midwife
If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, you should be able to call your midwife team 24 hours a day. Your midwife will give you the contact details. You may not always get through to a midwife you know, but there will always be someone on call who will have access to your notes.
‘If you do feel a natural rapport with your midwife, let her know,’ says Sandra. ‘If she makes you feel comfortable and you would like her as your midwife throughout your pregnancy, telling her will help build a natural relationship between you.’
If you are really struggling with your midwife and feel you are not able to speak openly, do remember you can ask to change midwife, after all, this is your pregnancy and feeling comfortable to talk openly with your midwife is key to a healthy pregnancy.