Snuggling together – Photo Courtesy: Andrew Dawes
For many developments in the medical world, the latest and greatest technologies play a central role. However, in some fields, the emphasis is on combining practical medical knowledge with techniques that have been used for thousands of years. For example, a midwife uses an approach that empowers women by supporting them through labor, often in their own homes.
Midwifery gained recognition on a larger scale than normal in recent years, thanks to a documentary titled â€œThe Business of Being Born.â€ In reality though, opportunities to either choose a career as a midwife, or use their services for yourself or a family member have always existed and are unlikely to go away anytime soon.
What Are the Advantages?
The documentary chronicled experiences of women who gave birth in a traditional hospital setting, and others who chose to use the services of a midwife, instead. In the case of the latter group, many of them stayed at home surrounded by family members and friends. Others participated in techniques that might be scoffed at in a traditional healthcare setting, such as giving birth in a bathtub. Itâ€™s important to note that midwives specialize in normal births. They are also trained to spot signs of trouble, and recognize when itâ€™s time to recommend that a client be transferred to a hospital setting.
Women who depend upon a midwife often feel that they have more freedom over all aspects of the birth. Additionally, the amount of drugs commonly administered in a hospital is not usually given when a person is at home. In some cases, this means that people are in a significant amount of pain during labor. However, people have reported being more coherent while giving birth, and able to save money that would have been spent on a hospital stay.
A Scientific Approach
if youâ€™re not already familiar with the field of midwifery, itâ€™s easy to dismiss the experiences of the women who were interviewed in the documentary, and say that their experiences may have been biased. However, an organization called The Cochrane Review released a study asserting that home-based births could be even safer than those that take place in hospitals.
They note that when people rely on midwifes who are thoroughly trained, they have fewer incidences of unplanned interventions. The study data goes a step further to mention that these interventions often have unseen consequences that can endanger the life of the mother or child.
Working as a Midwife
If youâ€™re interested in working as a midwife, the well-being of your clientâ€™s entire family will be your utmost concern. Unlike a traditional birth, where members of the family such as the father are not allowed to accompany a mother through the entire process, midwives usually encourage an environment that is safe, sanitary and puts the mother at ease. Youâ€™ll also have the opportunity to engage in patient education.
Normally, your relationship with a babyâ€™s mother begins long before the actual birth. Furthermore, after youâ€™ve performed the delivery, youâ€™ll also be responsible for getting the new parents off on the right foot. This comprehensive approach to pre and post natal care is something that many healthcare providers find to be interesting and rewarding. For people who are excited to learn about ways to bring a new life into the world, the work of midwives shows that itâ€™s possible to effectively deliver newborns outside of a hospital.
Kara Martin writes for nursing blogs that feature articles on nursing jobs and higher education. If you’re interested in becoming a midwife, check out NursingDegree.org for how to get started.