Happy International Day of the Midwife


Today is the International Day of the Midwife. In my world, this is important to for a number of reasons.

1) I love midwives. I love the midwifery model of care, I love that midwifery consumers are seen to receive the “Cadillac” of maternity care that I think ALL those in need of maternity care providers should receive. I love that midwives treat birth as a normal* physiological event.

2) I have children who were shepherded into the world by midwives. I had the opportunity to talk with my midwife yesterday (and yes, 10 years later, she’s still my midwife). She told me that she really believes if I weren’t me, both of my labours would have ended up as c-sections, because of their length, intensity, and dysfunction. I think that it’s only because I had a care provider who truly practices from an Informed Choice model that I didn’t end up having surgical births. The real truth may be somewhere in between my determination/stubbornness and her experience and willingness to wait and see how we were doing before rushing towards the intervention route.

3) I long wanted to be a midwife. Even in high school, it was my dream job. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve printed off the application forms for the Midwifery Education Program in Ontario. My current life situation doesn’t fit with such an intense program/vocation, and as I don’t know what level of independence my kids will reach as they mature, it may never be a good fit. It remains, however, my first real love, career-wise.

4) I work for and with midwives. I have been so fortunate to have gotten into a situation where even though I do not engage in the practice of baby-catching, I can do valuable and meaningful work for those who do. I’m in the middle of our annual work conference, and a few minutes ago, I left a room filled with midwives dancing, singing, and celebrating. They are all such amazing, fierce women, and I am so thankful every day that I get to be part of that, even on a non-clinical level.

Happy International Day of the Midwife. Don’t forget to hug yours the next time you see her.

*”Normal” is a word that is often loaded with bias, and no less so here. I do think it’s a necessary word when talking about birthing culture(s) though, because we have come to a point where we have so normalized highly intervened-upon and operative birth that we almost lost sight of what mammalian bodies (human included) are supposed to be able to do.

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2 Comments

  1. Melissa said,

    May 6, 2010 at 7:51 am

    “The real truth may be somewhere in between my determination/stubbornness and her experience and willingness to wait and see how we were doing before rushing towards the intervention route.”

    Yes.

    I love midwives too.

  2. Carolyn said,

    May 7, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I just saw the midwife who was there for Forest’s labour, at Donna’s house last weekend. (the backup, who was on call the weekend he was born)
    She has been the midwife for all 4 of her other births!
    She asked how my “baby boy” is, and then realized it has been 8 years. LOL!


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