Midwives asking patients to sign contracts vowing to BF?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Midwives asking patients to sign contracts vowing to BF?
11
Sun, 02-06-2011 - 2:45pm

I was reading a blog post where the mother mentions she had to sign a contract with her midwife vowing to BF. Here is alink to the blog post: http://www.dailybreeze.com/lifeandculture/ci_17297366

Now while I have heard of midwives saying they won't take on patients who plan to FF by choice, I have never heard of one forcing their patients to sigh a contract stating they will BF. What if the mom found she couldn't BF for some reason, would the midwife simply leave hospital room, birthing room, or the women;s home and refuse to continue to assist her in the post portum? Have you ever heard of a midwife requiring such a signed promise to BF?

This reminds me of a cotroversial episiode of the show Law and Order (the original serieas) from the 90's which featured a story that involved an LC who had forced one of her patients sign a document promising to BF.only and avoid formula at all costs. In the Law and Order episode, the story dealt with a mother who's baby had died of starvation becuase she was not properly BF'd and the mother didi ntot give formula as a backup, She tried to blame the LC who had had her sign the promose to not use formula for the babies death. No LC I know in her right mind would ever have a mother promise to never use formula since they all know there are indeed legitimate medical reasons to use sometimes.

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

I have heard of that - although I am sure it is not meant to be to the death or detriment of the baby.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

I can't get the site to load but I found this:

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
I can only imagine it as some kind of a commitment a mother makes to herself. I would be very surprised if it was a contract in any legal sense. More like - hey I'm going to be a mum, and I plan to do this and I feel very serious about my plan.

Teresa
Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

More...

Acting as a midwife, Ingrid states in her contract with clients that all infants born in her practice should be breastfed. She is setting an example all providers in the community should follow to improve our public health.

http://www.cityofmadison.com/news/view.cfm?news_id=2270

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Having read the whole article, there is a serious side to the article, but there are also a lot of tongue-in-cheek comments that are not meant to be taken seriously.

eg comments about how much better the BF person will be to talk to a cocktail parties, comments about arsenic and cocaine. Even saying LLL thinks you are an abusive mother if you don't get up twice a night to pump. Some comments are so extreme and over the top, I am left wondering if the supposed contract is also one of those comments.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
I would imagine these with these sorts of promises to BF, the midwife does not expect the mother to BF if she truly has a legitimate reason she can't do it such as if her baby is born with Galactosemia or insufficient glandular tissue. I imagine that these midwives simply want to ensure the mothers they take on are not going to either FF from the start by choice or give up BF'ing in the first 6 week solely by choice. I'm sure none of them would push a mother to BF who obviously was not going to be able to make it work as that would open them up to a lawsuit, let alone the fact that no person in their right mind would want a baby to starve to death rather then use formula.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

Here is another related question I have. How common do you think it is for a FF'ing by choice (not by medical necessity) to try and hire a home-birth or birthing center midwife in countries like the U.S. where OB's as apposed to midwives attend most births? Have you ever heard of a FF'r by choice who chose to give birth at home or at birthing center? Do you think it's OK for a homebirth midwife/birthing center to refuse to take on women who plans to exclusively FF from the start?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2009

My midwife and the birthing center she works in has delivered plenty of babies at home and in her center that were formula feed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
I'm having a homebirth, and BF is not mandated, it's assumed. Help with BF is part of the contract, as if FF is not even thought of. This makes sense to me, because I have never met a woman who wanted to homebirth and FF. If I had a double mastectomy, I would not BF and would desire a homebirth, but I can't imagine any midwife taking on a client who had had cancer. It's too risky. I'm sure that if a true feeding issue arose, even the midwives who demand contracts would not oppose formula usage, although I think that my midwife would try to help me find mothers who would donate breastmilk to me. Breastfeeding is very important.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006

I could see these contracts being more like a promise that the mom makes to herself (and the midwife is just encouraging her to make this promise) to make the best effort possible to breastfeed.

2010 Siggy

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