There is no doubt that a midwife’s responsibility and primary goal is to look after the health of mother and baby. Her focus is on you, the expectant mother, to help you manage this difficult and overwhelming time. Like a mother, she is there with experience, comfort and a level of hardness required to endure a difficult course.

 

If one can equate the birthing process to a car trip, the doctor being the GPS to get mom and babe from A to B, the midwife is everything before, in-between and after.

She makes sure the bags are packs, snacks on board, kids aren’t fighting and planned out the stops for the journey. She also makes sure everyone is settled once you get there. Don’t discount this role, this responsibility keeps everyone sane and happy.

 

In many first world countries, midwives are the model and standard for medical care for expectant mothers. Unfortunately, in developing nations, the skills of midwives are few and safe deliveries are paramount on the World Health Organization’s agenda.

Access to hospitals is often beyond physical and monetary access, and the roles of midwives in communities are often the only hope. Though most of these midwives have learned the skill of delivery babies safely through generational guidance, there is a need to train and offer more support to these critical occupations. It is estimated that the infant mortality rate is around 3.6 million deaths each year. [1]

 

In the first world countries, there is the stigma that perhaps some parents may consider midwives to be less skilled than obstetricians; and combined with the declining rate of natural births midwives seem a more personal preference then recommended. There is a distinct correlation between countries that prescribe pushing and midwife’s vs c-sections and the need for expensive resources.

 

Regardless of what your personal preference is, there is no doubt that midwives offer a distinctive and valuable role. Beyond the birthing process, a midwife offers the mother many additional benefits such as a guide on reproductive health; postpartum advice and making the pre – and post-natal care more affordable and accessible.

 

Before selecting to go the midwife route, seek professional advice regarding the health of your pregnancy and whether you are considered low risk. Obtain references for midwives from your country’s Midwifery organizational body who oversees the credentials and certifications of their members.

 

[1] Statistics provided by WHO, State of the World’s Midwifery 2011 Report