03 March 2006

Chat with my midwife

My midwife returned from her 2 month visit home in Australia. She bought a house... waaaaaah, she's moving away in July!! But she did say that if I want to have more babies at home, she'd come back and catch them. Her husband has a business here that he'll have to visit 2x a year, so they can arrange their visit schedule around a due date if they have to. I guess the bad news was kindof good news.

We also discussed the local childbirth educators. They are awful. She was a fabulous one and I would love to follow in her footsteps. She was so encouraging and positive about me wanting to be a CBE and is even willing to mentor me while she's here. Dayton had even said to me a few weeks ago that when she leaves, who is going to fill her shoes... maybe I could. BAMBI (look at my links) will need CBE's and more doulas as guest speakers and to offer services, so that's a place I can start.

We also discussed me becoming a midwife. Her opinion is that if I want to that's fine but don't ever even think about practicing here legally. The only midwives here are Thai nurse-midwives who are not allowed to catch babies. In fact, if a baby is born before the doctor arrives, they get in trouble. She has spoken with midwives who have NEVER caught a baby with years of working in hospitals. So basically, just because I'd have the education, and if I were gifted enough to learn the language to pass the exams here to be licensed, what Thai doctor would ever approve of me, let alone be a backup. Just because I was licensed does not mean that I could work in a hospital in a real midwife capacity. She was not legally licensed here but worked as a doula/CBE/labor assistant.

Her opinion is good in her experience, but I do know of nurse-midwives here who have caught plenty of babies. Outside of Bangkok, homebirths are no big deal. My Thai teacher's aunt just had a homebirth with a local midwife, so I know there are paths that I can explore. And maybe in 10 years, it will be possible. I've read so many papers published by Thai nursing associations about how they need to be more open to foreign educated practitioners. They need to follow through and start the work to make it happen. But it's a big cultural issue as much as it is a legal one.

Overall, a VERY exciting conversation. A few months ago when I first spoke with her about my plans, she was like, yeah whatever, you just had a baby, this will pass. But now she can see the passion, the education I've begun, and the need for someone like-minded to follow behind her.

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