This week is personal for me. It is personal because Midwifery care has made a clear difference in my life. As a mother, I had the privilege of having midwives hold my hand and support me through my pregnancies and births. As a doula and a lover of all things related to birth, midwives welcome me into the birthing rooms and call me partner, willing to work together to support our client.
in other words
I LOVE MIDWIFERY CARE
To celebrate and honor the work that midwives do, I wanted to share some photos from births that I have attended and tell you many of the reasons why I love these care providers.
Midwives provide exquisite, patient centered, prenatal care.
Whenever you sit down at an appointment with a midwife, they ask how YOU are doing. They want to know the emotional and physical side of pregnancy. They aren’t just focused on a heart rate, but they want to know how you are handling stress/anxiety/a backache and what they can do to get you to have peace and be pain free. Midwives build a relationship with patients and prove that they are worth trusting through birth.
Midwives are hands-on.
Midwives recognize that birth is not a calculated equation. There is no formula to get to the perfect birth. They are able to see the tides of labor and help moms ease the pains. They know that position matters and will use their arms & hands & muscles to support a birthing mother. A midwife will hold your hand and whisper in your ear “you’ve got this”. Whenever they look into your eyes, you know they are on your side.
Midwives support a variety of birthing positions.
On the bed. In the tub. On hands and knees. With an epidural. With a birthing stool. In the shower. Lying on the couch. On your back. Without any meds. Leaning over the bed. Side lying. A MIDWIFE WILL GIVE YOU OPTIONS. They will let you lead and direct you to another position when needed. But they key is that you have a choice!
Midwives EMPOWER Women!
Expectant mothers are intelligent. They do research and read books and study for birth. They have educated opinions and midwives respect that! Whenever a mother has an idea like “can I catch my own baby?” or “will you let me cut my chord”, a midwife will consider it. They know that when a mother is given freedom in birth, she feels confident and empowered. Midwives also say things like “you are strong” and “your body was built to do this”. They speak in accolades and affirmations, and we all know we live in a world where we need more of that.
Midwives care about families.
Midwives recognize that birth is not a medical task, but a communal experience. When children interact with midwives, they feel included and empowered themselves. Midwives don’t treat kids like walking “festering germs”. They talk to children with gentle words! They often have toys in their offices because they welcome kids as a part of the process!
Midwives RESPECT women.
A midwife asks permission BEFORE touching you. A midwife waits for consent. She talks to you about breaking your water before it happens. She will ask you if it is alright to do an episiotomy, but likely won’t do it at all and will let you tear on your own. A MIDWIFE RESPECTS A WOMAN’S BODY! Enough said.
Midwives are safe.
Midwives are found in and out of hospitals, at birthing centers and home births. There are different regulations in different states, but in NC, practicing midwives have completed medical training. This ain’t their first birth rodeo. They know what they can handle, and they know when to call for help. They know when medicine is appropriate and not. They are licensed medical professionals!
I must also mention that OBs also do many of the above things. There also might be some midwives that don’t do them. I am making generalized statements based on my personal and professional experience. The best tip that I can give for any mother searching for the above support is to KNOW AND TRUST HER PROVIDER, whether she births in a hospital, at home, in a birthing center, or in the middle of a creek. Women should find trustworthy care providers and know that is it a WOMAN’S RIGHT to find a person that is right for them.
Also, when in doubt, hire a doula. :)