I was fortunate enough to be in the room when my daughter gave birth to her first baby (boy), my first grandson. My first son was delivered by a midwife in England at a tiny little hospital on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. My husband helped the midwife with the delivery and the experience was amazing. My other two children were delivered by a family doctor as we moved back to Canada, and at that time midwives were not recognized.
I attended several of my daughters appointments with the midwives and these are my observations.
- My daughter was able to ask an unlimited amount of questions regarding the birth process
- The midwives had several educational aids, which included a pelvic bone and a doll to show the different ways that a baby will lay in the uterus, diagrams of breach presentation, etc.
- The appointments lasted between fifteen and thirty minutes
- The midwives gave her an emergency number to call at any time during pregnancy and after. If a pregnant mother experiences spotting, there is nothing more scary, but a midwife can assess you and if necessary will meet you at the hospital to assess you at ANY time of the day or night.
- After the birth, the Midwives come to the hospital or home ( home birth) the next day and check Mom and baby and discharge them. The midwife gives breastfeeding advice, and makes appointments for home visits (up to five visits).
- Midwives make house calls! This is the best part; we all know how tired new Moms are, how difficult it is to get a baby ready and out to a doctors office, the threat of catching something in the waiting room. The home visits includes weighing the baby, answering any new baby questions, checking the umblical cord, making sure the baby is thriving, and checking Mom’s physical condition.
My daughter had her baby in a small hospital with two midwives (one was a student). They do not wear hospital scrubs, but instead they wear their own clothes so that they blended in. The delivery took place in an ordinary hospital room. They had the special unit that has a heat lamp and all the tools necessary to clean up the baby right in the room. After the delivery, the baby is kept right in that room with Mom. This is so different from when I had my children. They would take the babies to a nursery and the birthing took place in a “delivery room.”
I read a report that there will be shortage of midwives in Canada within five years. I hope that anyone who is considering going into the medical field will choose this worthy profession. The rewards are great.