All About Midwives

Written by One Mama Midwife

Comfort Items From Birth and The Dummy Debate

What is a midwife?

Midwife is an old English term meaning ‘With Woman’ and this perfectly encapsulates the position and the role of a midwife. A midwife is a healthcare professional who is a specialist in providing care for women throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period. Midwives work tirelessly to be with the women and their family that they are caring for to help them achieve a safe and healthy pregnancy, birth and postpartum period.

But a midwife is more than just a healthcare professional doing a job. Midwives are perfectly positioned to support, advocate and care beyond the realms of ‘work’ for the women and their families. So much so that they almost feel as if they are a loving mother or a loving sister during that time. If you have had a midwife care for you, you will know exactly how deeply that midwife cared for you during that moment and exactly how much of herself she gave to you. Midwives have been around for centuries and exist in every culture around the world in different capacities. In Australia, midwives are highly trained to provide care to women in a variety of different settings including, the hospital, a home birth, birthing centres and in collaboration with other doctors and healthcare professionals. All with the aim of providing you with the best possible care for your birthing experience.

Some of the services that midwives provide include:

- Pregnancy care: Midwives will do regular check ups on you and your baby during the course of your pregnancy. This is to detect any variations from normal as well as providing you with information and preparation that you require.

- Education: There are midwives who provide you with classes and information on the process of labour, birth and the postpartum period. These midwives are sharing their insights to help prepare you and help you feel excited for your upcoming birth.

- Labour and birth care: Regardless of if you choose to birth in the public or the private system, you will have a midwife looking after you for the duration of your labour,birth and postpartum period. These midwives provide continuous support during labour and birth to monitor the progress of your labour, the health of you and the health of your baby. Plus, making sure that your partner is coping well with the demands of labour too.

- Postpartum care: Midwives provide care and support to women after birth. They provide both physical and emotional support to help you through the challenges that come with the postpartum period and becoming new parents. Midwives also help provide you with breastfeeding support and information.

- Birth Counselling and Family planning: After you have had your baby, midwives are perfectly positioned to counsel you on the birth experience that you have had and talk you through anything that you are not sure of. They are also placed to discuss with you family planning and contraception options.

When asked what words women would use to describe a midwife that cared for themduring their labour and birth, women responded with:
- Safe
- Empowering
- Passionate
- Comforting
- Gentle
- Kind
- Genuinely caring
- Thoughtful
- Patient
- Supportive
- Absolutely amazing
- Nurturing
- Absolute earth angels
- Life changing
- Calm
- Relaxed and positive
- Fun
- Grounding
- Knowledgeable
- Lifesaver
- Advocate
- Empathetic
Plus so much more!!

Midwifery is a very unique and important profession that plays an integral role in supporting families in the transition to parenthood. If you have had a special midwife care for you during your labour, birth and postpartum period, count yourself lucky and you could even reach out to say thank you to them today.