The benefits of midwives are numerous, from a reduction in episiotomies and use of interventions to a reduction in epidurals. The care they provide truly supports the normal process of birth.
I believe midwives play a huge role in protecting the perineum which in my world is huge in terms of preventing some aspects of pelvic floor dysfunction. They encourage birth positions that facilitate birth rather than hinder it and they are in no hurry... they let the woman birth.
I chose a midwife for the birth of my two children and was so happy that I did!
Part of my reason for choosing a midwife was as a result of watching my sister-in-law through her pregnancy and birth. Watching the birth of my niece I saw firsthand the amazing care that the midwifery team provided. I wanted that for myself.
The prenatal care was great and I got to know both of the midwives that were on my team. They work in pairs (part of their continuity of care model) and alternate in meetings so you get to know each of them. One or both will be at your birth. I wanted to birth with someone I knew and trusted, not with a doctor who I had never met before.
The birth experience was amazing – my midwife Elizabeth was on the phone with me when I was in labour, and met us at the hospital when it was time for me to go.
She coached me through the process and kept me breathing! She supported my birth positions, answered any questions I had, and supported my perineum with warm compresses and oil. She was an integral part of the birth of my first son.
The postpartum support was incredible as well, with home visits and office visits to ensure my son and I were doing well. I believe in a birth ‘team’ rather than one care provider, and I believe a midwife is an integral part of that team.
Some Words From a Midwife
I have had the pleasure of working with midwives both personally and professionally.
Below is a quick note from a midwife in Oakville, Ontario, who has made such an incredible difference in the births of her clients. Kathy has also been a big supporter of my business.
“I have the absolute privilege to be a Midwife. It is such a gift to help women celebrate the miracle of pregnancy and birth.
Midwives are primary care physicians that are trained to care for women from early pregnancy, through birth and six weeks postpartum. Midwives believe that birth is a normal healthy process in a woman’s life. Midwives offer women choice of birth place - at either home or hospital - and support informed choice in each woman’s birth.
During the postpartum care, we see women and baby at home for the first two weeks, and then continue care in our clinic until six weeks. We assist with breastfeeding and ensure mom and baby are healthy and well.
Midwives are in high demand, which can make it sometimes challenging to get one. Call your local midwifery office or the midwifery association of your province as soon as you discover you are pregnant.”
The bottom line is that midwives rock! I chose a midwife and I believe you should consider it, too.
P.S. Doulas rock, too! Read my post explaining why I think a doula should be part of your birth team.