May 5th is “International Midwives Day”. The idea of having a day to recognize and honor midwives came out of the 1987 International Confederation of Midwives conference in the Netherlands. International Midwives’ Day was first celebrated May 5, 1991, and has been observed in over 50 nations around the world. On Midwives’ Day we can celebrate, share stories and take a day to give thanks for midwives.
Thanks to all the midwives and student midwives who sacrifice so much to make normal births in all settings available to moms and babies and families!! Thank-you for your wonderful open hearts, loving and caring hands. Thanks to all doc’s and Ob’s who struggle inside the system to serve following the Midwives Model of Care.
The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- Providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- Minimizing technological interventions
- Identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
Midwives take a fundamentally different approach to prenatal care and labor and delivery from the more common medical model usually practiced by doctors. They create a partnership of care with the pregnant woman, providing information and recommendations, fostering respect and trust, minimizing interventions and referring women to obstetrical care when needed.
When asked what kind of a birth they want, many women will say they want to have one “as naturally as possible.” Midwives allow women the best chance to meet that goal.
Midwives Respect the Birth Process
The relationship of midwife to client is one that is more peer to peer rather than authority figure to subordinate. Your midwife will respect you and your family members, your beliefs, religion, and birth philosophy. Your midwife will also respect your decisions regarding your prenatal care, birth plans, and postpartum care.
Midwives also show respect for the birth process and the birthing woman. You will have the freedom to move about and eat and drink as you wish. Your midwife will not “allow” or “prohibit” anything, although if you are giving birth in a hospital setting you both may be restricted by its policies.
“In all cultures, the midwife’s place is on the threshold of life, where intense human emotions, fear, hope, longing, triumph, and incredible physical power enable a new human being to emerge. Her vocation is unique.”
Wishing all my sister midwives a wonderful day of love and devotion.
Much Love, Susan Oshel, CPM
Susan is a midwife in Virginia who has been serving families for 30 years.