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When I'm Asked a Question

A lot of my life is answering questions. I love talking about birth and babies. I think I spend more time online talking with women about the various aspects of their mother-lives than any other activity on the computer.

So when women ask me specific questions, I take the task seriously; a woman's trust must be respected and honored.

Most questions are easy enough to work through. 

- I'm not sure if I have thrush.

- Can you help me with my birthplan?

- My baby won't take a pacifier.

Like that.

But, sometimes I get questions that are either out of my league or not of very great interest to me. While I think I do a decent job researching many topics, I am not a professional. Statistics all blur together and I've found for every study completed, you can find three more that dispute it. So it takes a focused and motivated person to weed through the mass of numbers and take the piles of words and make some kind of sense out of them.

My motivation varies. I am passionate about fat in pregnancy, gestational diabetes and insulin resistance. I love writing about midwifery and writing. It brings me joy to share my photography. But, even within those parameters, not everything excites me enough to exert the energy (or spend the time) writing about.

Today, on the heels of my post declaring I will write a blog post for each day in November (NaBloPoMo), I got this question in the comments.

"Can you write a blog (post) about high blood pressure/preeclampsia? I feel like the issue is getting very fogged by doctors lately, and I'd like to know more about when induction and c-section are appropriate."

Meg! I really am honored that you want my opinion... that in itself is a wonderful compliment. But... I do have to say, this isn't one of those topics that resonates with me. And, if I did attempt to tackle the topic, it would easily take 6-8 weeks to finish. This kind of involved subject really tests my mettle!

So, instead of a term paper on the subject, I have an idea. How about you ask me pointed questions about BP/PE/PIH... what exactly confuses you -or that you see others being confused about. That way, I'll be able to not talk about that you already know about and/or what has been written about extensively already.

And, too... know I am a midwife. I am trained to know normal and to know what isn't normal... and refer out. I suspect a lot of the topic will be out of my scope of practice and I am really sure I would not be able to determine when induction or a cesarean is indicated. Mostly because each woman is so individual, but also because I do not make those decisions. I work with women as they learn about their options, offering information and support for their process. I do not ever make the ultimate decision about an induction or a cesarean. Not to lightly pass off the duty to a doctor, but those decisions are between a woman, her partner/s and her OB. Her midwife can be a great consultant, but (speaking for myself) I will never have all the knowledge an OB does regarding the complicated issues surrounding preeclampsia.

So, hone your questions and I will do my best to answer what I can. Readers, you can help, too!

Reader Comments (3)

Ok, more pointed questions...

-What symptoms and severity of symptoms do you watch for and find troubling towards the end of pregnancy, especially with regards to high blood pressure, swelling, head aches, and protein in urine?

-At what point do you feel that a client's condition is outside your scope of practice and then refer to an OB?

-Are there times in your practice when you have been working closely enough with a woman to have a good grasp of her health but have disagreed with a treatment done by other care giver?

-Do you feel that there are aspects of your style of practice that either contribute to or prevent gestational hypertension and/or preeclampsia?

All of these questions are in reference to otherwise low-risk women, within reason. Women who are not ill or have ill babies.

Are those better?

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Much! May take a few days... but, I'll get there.

Thanks for playing along. :)

November 4, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

Meg, those are excellent questions. As a prospective midwifery student, I'm really interested in the answers to these.

And Barb, I thank you so much for your blog. You've given me such insight and information that is just not available to those of us who don't know what they're looking for! Before I started reading your blog, I didn't know that an umbilical cord COULD have only one artery and one vein. I didn't know that some cords still pulse after the placenta's been expelled (that was some useful commentary, to all those commenters, too). You've given me so many different areas to research on, that I've been truly humbled before the scope of the learning ahead. I wish you all the luck in the world, and hope that you continue to present this wonderful blog to the world!

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

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