Not everyone knows what a midwife is and what we can and cannot do. Some people think midwives only assist doctors in the care of women during birth, or that we care for babies and children. I think that the role of the midwife in antenatal (pregnancy) care and labour and birth care is sometimes not well understood.
Midwifery in Australia is undergoing a period of change, thanks to maternity reforms almost three years ago which have helped midwives gain more autonomy and an increased scope of practice.
Midwives care for women from early in pregnancy, right through to birth and the first six weeks with the new baby. Midwives listen to women, talk with women, educate and prepare women for birth and parenting, support women and care for women and babies through pregnancy and beyond. Midwives help new mothers care for their babies and adjust to parenthood.
Midwives are on-call 24/7 for the women and babies that they care for. Babies come at all hours of the day and night, and sometimes women have urgent health concerns and they want to be sure that they can contact their midwife when they need to.
Most midwives pour their hearts and souls into their work. Midwives are privileged to touch the lives of families in a very special way.