a CNM who hasn't given birth

  1. I am unable to have children due to a variety of factors, but I am intensely interested in women's health and health promotion. I've thought a great deal about becoming a CNM, but I feel like because I will never give birth, I wouldn't be qualified to do the job. What do you think? I can't help but feel like without the experience of having had a child, I won't be equipped to advise others.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   msdobson
    Quote from mslinzyann
    I am unable to have children due to a variety of factors, but I am intensely interested in women's health and health promotion. I've thought a great deal about becoming a CNM, but I feel like because I will never give birth, I wouldn't be qualified to do the job. What do you think? I can't help but feel like without the experience of having had a child, I won't be equipped to advise others.

    The argument you are using on yourself would eliminate every man who wishes to become a CNM.

    Giving birth does not make one an expert anymore than being stabbed makes you an expert in knife fighting.

    Giving birth would certainly give you a unique perspective on child birth, however, that perspective will certainly differ from one woman to the next.

    Giving birth is not a cookie-cutter experience.

    As long as you have empathy, the learned skills and the experience that comes over the years, you will make a fine CNM.

    Good luck to you.

    Mike
  4. by   mercyteapot
    Most nurses will never experience many of the conditions or procedures of their patients. I absolutely think you can be a good CNM without having given birth.
  5. by   midwife2b
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Most nurses will never experience many of the conditions or procedures of their patients. I absolutely think you can be a good CNM without having given birth.
    I absolutely agree!!
    I know many midwives who have never given birth...
  6. by   rn/writer
    For many years, the majority of OB's were men and no one seemed to think twice about that.

    Is it necessary for cardiologists to have had MI's? Or oncologists to have had CA? If you think about it, very few docs or nurses are likely to have had experience in their specialty areas.

    The flip side is that there are plenty of folks who have had kids who wouldn't necessarily make good OB caregivers.

    No one can make you feel inadequate without your permission.
  7. by   Jolie
    I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters.

    Due to infertility problems, I worked as a NICU nurse for 9 years before finally having a baby of my own. I had a co-worker who I otherwise respected and liked who insisted that I was unqualified to be a NICU nurse because I was childless. I basically told her to blow it out her ear. After having my daughter I did find that some of my opinions and persepctives changed a bit, not due to pregnancy, or the birth process itself, but due to the fact that I was now responsible for a tiny, defenseless human being. I don't think it necessarily made me a better nurse, because I think I was always a pretty good one (if I do say so myself , it just gave me a different view on things.

    So my point in rambling on here is that we all bring valuable experiences and insights to our profession. None is more important than any other.
  8. by   Kiwimid
    You dont need to have hatched one yourself. Im at school to become a midwife and we have a number on women who havent had kids. And i know of male midwives. hey you only add to your bais if youve had kids anyway.
  9. by   BabyRN2Be
    I've been a doula for the past 9 years. I haven't given birth but that will change this November. In the last 9 years I've only had one client who said she would not use me because I had not given birth.

    I feel that over the last nine years I've gained so much experience, seen so many procedures, conditions, etc. than I would if I had delivered 5 babies myself and only been a doula for 6 months.

    If you gain good experience, I feel that this in no way should hamper your efforts to become a CNM. Don't let this one fact get in the way of your dreams! Very best of luck to you!
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Like said before, following that logic, I should never, ever become an oncology nurse due to the fact I have not yet experienced cancer. You follow your dream. I have seen amazing nurses in men and women who have never (nor plan to ever) have kids. Conversely, I have seen women who have "been there done that" who mistakenly and misguidedly judge their patients' experiences based upon their own birth experiences. NOT GOOD.

    If this is your passion, you already have a leg-up on others who are burnt out or do not belong caring for often-vulnerable OB patients. PLEASE like the others said, Go for IT!
  11. by   caliotter3
    As part of a class project, I had to take a childbirth class. I do not remember the RN instructor saying anything about her status as a mother. She had been in this field for many years, had extensive experience, and was a published author on the subject. She talked about all of her accomplishments but I don't remember anything about being a mother. So, whether she wasn't a mother, or didn't want to talk about her family, she still was able to do the job. You need to change your perspective.
  12. by   Armygirl7
    Hey Mslinzyann!
    I had both my sons at home attended by a CNM who has never had children. There was never a question in my mind about her ability as a midwife.

    This woman CHANGED MY LIFE!

    Having a homebirth with a CNM forces you to take responsibility for your health, both mental and physical. My midwife jolted me into a way of thinking/eating/exercising/managing stress and illness, that sustains me and my family to this day (16 years after the birth of my first son).

    I realize your post is a bit old (I am a nursing student new to this forum) but I just want to encourage you to be what you want to be, and be it completely!

    Whenever I would go for my prenatals and walk into my CNM's office and see the walls covered in snapshots of smiling babies and families that she delivered into this world (she has done home birth for over 20 years now!!) I would just look at her and think wow she is the spiritual mother to all these families! Seriously. I hope you become a CNM - you will have the power to change lives (now that's a MOTHER of a job!!!) She still does all my well-woman gynecology and I really look forward to those pap smears because I love seeing her! The new photos of tiny newborns keep appearing on the walls every year. What an amazing, important life this Nurse-Midwife has had.

    I wish you all the best - do not doubt yourself!

    "Our doubts are traitors
    And make us lose the good we oft might win
    by fearing to attempt"

    Shakespeare "Measure for Measure"
  13. by   clhRN2b2010
    I ditto what others have said. I think so many other factors matter more. My last birth was with a Male CNM and he was wonderful, very experianced, excellent manner. It also eliminates that hurdle that I have heard some have with getting over their own births as the "standard" by which all others are judged.

    I might suggest, just as another woman, that you are sure you have worked through your own emotions with your not having children. Those feeling may creep up on you and weight you down if you haven't already put them in perspective.

    Best wishes!
  14. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Have you heard of Penny Armstrong? She is a well know midwife. She has written several book "A Wise Birth" and "A Midwife's Story" She is the midwife that works with the Amish. She can not have children either and she has helped women deliver over 1200 babies.

    I want to become a CNM too and I have not had children; and do not plan on having them until I am done with school. My Ob instructor who is a midwife who adopted both of her children told me (I was worried about not having children yet while doing OB rotation; and a male student who was worried about educating a new mom on breastfeeding) said, "Do all cardiologists have heart attacks? Does that mean they are not qualified to be cardiologists?".....

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