The Midwife's Responsibilities

As a midwife, I see my role as informing mothers, and aiding them in making wise decisions for themselves and their baby. I want them to realize their role as the only direct care provider for their baby. I want them to know what they can do to help themselves have a healthy pregnancy, safe and efficient labor, and safe and joyous birth.

During pregnancy, I will make recommendations to help you optimize your nutrition and lifestyle to work towards our goal: a healthy mom, and therefore a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, and a safe and joyous birth. I will look at your previous pregnancies and births to determine what is normal for you.

During labor, I will keep an eye on mother and baby though monitoring (checking mother’s vital signs, observing the labor process, monitoring baby’s heartbeat). If the mother has a chosen labor support person (husband, sister, friend, etc), I will assist them in supporting her, and offer suggestions, if needed. I will happily provide labor support as well. Emotionally, I will support the mother, encouraging her that though labor is indeed hard work, it is definitely worth it, reminding her of the great reward at the end of seeing and holding her sweet baby for the first time. Massage, hot rice socks in tense or painful areas, or gentle reassuring touch are other things that often benefit mothers as they work through their labor. I will help her choose positions that will optimize the baby’s descent and cervical dilation, while preserving her energy. And I will encourage her to eat and drink as needed during labor.

Some mothers want their midwife less involved, so I’m happy to oblige and take the backseat role of a quiet observer, only stepping in if desired or needed. Not all mothers are alike, and while some very much desire their midwife to take a more active role (as described in the above paragraph), others only want someone to minimally monitor mother and baby for safety, and wish to be left alone as much as possible to “do their own thing”. I believe it is fine and wonderful for mothers and fathers to labor together, with the mother listening to her body and doing what she feels she needs to do, and yes, even catching her own baby—it’s very special to witness!

During the postpartum period, I will provide support and encouragement as the family adjusts to life with the newest member.

It is also my responsibility to let you know if, at any time, I become uncomfortable with a condition, variation of normal, or complication that develops during your pregnancy, labor, or birth. Every midwife has a different level of skill and experience, and it can be unsafe for a midwife to care for a mother with a condition for which she has not been sufficiently trained, or which she does not have sufficient experience to handle safely and competently. Additionally, sometimes a situation arises which requires specialized care that cannot be provided in a home setting, or under the care of a midwife. If either of these situations occur during your care with me, I will let you know immediately.

It is my heart’s desire to see each of my mothers and their family happy and delighted with their pregnancy and birth experience.

While I cannot guarantee a wonderful life-transforming vaginal birth or a complication-free pregnancy, I can give you the tools and the knowledge to give you the best opportunity for a safe and joyous experience, and a good outcome.

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