What is a Midwife?
The Standard Answer:
Midwife means ‘with women’. As Midwives, it’s our job to support a women’s journey through pregnancy and childbirth. This can mean a lot of things depending on where you live. In Canada, Registered Midwives are health professionals who provide primary care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and in the postpartum up to 6 weeks.
As primary care providers, women will only see their Midwife for maternity care. Labour and birth can take place in the setting of the woman’s choice, which may include, home, and hospital or birth center. Midwives are responsible for clinical decisions and the management of care within their scope of practice. Midwives believe in women-centered holistic a care. We treat the woman’s mind, body and spirit. In "Childbirth Without Fear" by Grantly Dick-Read, it states that 90% of the fear, tension and complications of pregnancy and childbirth can be eliminated with education of the mother. It’s our job to help give parents information and empower them to make their own choices.
For more info about Midwifery in Canada visit the Canadian Midwives Association website. www.canadianmidwives.org
In the United States, Midwifery regulation varies tremendously state to state. I encourage you to do your research and check out sites such as http://www.midwife.org for more information about midwifery options in your area.
What is a Midwife?
The Meghanne Answer:
For me, the true art of Midwifery is so much more than clinical care. While there is no denying, I am a ginormous nerd when it comes to human biology, Midwifery allows me to be somewhat of a "Spiritual Nerd". The art of Midwifery lies in the ability to provide exceptional clinical care, while listening to the softer ques and gestures of a woman during pregnancy and labour. Learning to trust my intuition and bear witness to a woman's life altering experience is the part of my job I love most.
Some of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had as a Midwife are often during the early morning hours towards the end of a labour. While the rest of the world sleeps, I take a moment to hold this woman in my arms, physically supporting her weight. I listen to her sounds and moans of fear and exhaustion. She is heard, she is safe, and she is supported. Almost instinctivly, as the sun starts to rise, she finds her inner power to push’s her baby into the world. The bliss, ecstasy and wonder on the faces of new parents never cease to amaze me. After births like this I’ll often go on long trail runs or spend some time in nature (if the pager allows me). I take some time to quietly breathe in the smells of the forest while I replay the intensity of emotion that I witnessed. These days I feel connected to the cycle of life that we often take for granted in our busy lives. These are the times that define what I do and are when I love my job the most.