The Midwifery Model of Care

Although in today’s world midwifery is viewed as “alternative” or “non-traditional”, until recent history, midwives were the ones women turned to during the childbearing cycle. Many women today no longer know what midwifery is, and what it means. The following are beliefs of midwives around the world, and across the generations.

This model of care encourages women to trust in God’s elegant design of their bodies, and His design inherent in childbearing; it recognizes that conception, pregnancy, and birth are natural processes that God designed to function with minimal intervention. The female body is seen as unique, and normal.

Midwives realize the value in good nutrition, exercise, and a wholesome lifestyle and supportive, healthy family relationships to promote good health and minimize complications. The midwifery model of care recognizes the mother as the only direct health-care provider for her unborn baby. When the mother is taking good care of herself, the baby will also be well-cared for.

The midwifery model of care believes it is the client’s responsibility to make their own choices about tests and treatments, so midwives respect their clients by providing them with complete and accurate information for them to make informed health care decisions for themselves and their babies. Midwives seek to avoid practices and treatments based solely on fear, and instead seek to only carry out only those that have clear benefits for the mother and her baby.

The process of pregnancy and birth are important to midwives, as well as the outcome. Midwives recognize that unnecessary interference can cause complications that would not otherwise occur, therefore they see themselves as guardians over these natural events and seasons, and intervene only as necessary for the health and well-being of the mother and baby.

“One size fits all” does not apply to labor and birth; the midwife recognizes that each pregnancy, labor, and birth will be unique, and she is prepared and willing to be patient and flexible, allowing each woman’s body the time it needs to bring forth the baby, and in whatever positions are most effective. They also realize that spiritual and emotional issues can slow or stall labor, and they seek to resolve these, if at all possible.

Midwives see pain in childbirth as a positive force because it brings forth a baby; they recognize that it is not a damaging pain, and therefore, it should not be feared. Midwives see birth as a personal, spiritual, and social event.

The midwifery model of care contends that healthy, low-risk mothers can birth just as safely, and more so, at a home or birth center, than in a hospital.

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