Midwife speaking

Every month, midwife Dieuwke Ottens talks about what she experiences in her practice as a midwife. In this newsletter she shares a story about a pregnant woman from her practice who just went 'wrong'. 

Barbara was at my practice last week. Her pregnancy is going well. She is now 19 weeks and next week is the appointment for the 20 week ultrasound. She is very curious if it will be a boy or girl. She herself has the feeling that it is a girl.


At the end of the consultation she looks at the floor and indicates that she wants to discuss something. Then I know from experience that something is going to come that she's ashamed of. She says that she drank 1 glass of wine during the work drink last week. It had actually come naturally. She had finished it and at the end she suddenly remembered that she had had a glass of wine. She'd been paying close attention all those weeks and now this. She burst into tears and admitted to feeling very guilty about her baby.

Making mistakes can happen

I always assume that every parent wants the best for their child. But anyone can make a 'mistake' and it is never too late to make a fresh start. That she shared this event with me shows that she has faith in me. I am very grateful to her for that.

As a midwife I give a lot of advice. And nothing is strange. Of course you should try to avoid drinking alcohol. Making a mistake can happen. The question is more: how do you avoid getting into a pattern where you justify all your 'mistakes'?

How did it go?

We talked about this for a while. That actually helped Barbara to be aware again of not drinking alcohol. And it gave her strength to indicate in company that she would like an alcohol-free drink. Her environment gives her a lot of support during the pregnancy. Fortunately, she doesn't feel pressured to participate.

Visibly relieved, we have completed our consultation. On to the 20 week ultrasound!

Dieuwke has been a full-time midwife for 20 years. She guides pregnant women and their partners. During pregnancy, childbirth and also after childbirth. She has assisted more than 1,300 deliveries. As a result, she has a lot of experience. There is hardly a question that she has not yet heard.

And since 2015 she is a sexual health consultant (NVVS) at the Dutch Society for Sexology. She answers all kinds of questions about sexuality. For example, questions about pain during sex. Or that partners both have different sexual desires during or after pregnancy. And men with erection problems also come to talk to her.




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