Top 10 Reasons to Love Midwives
Happy International Day of the Midwife! There are far more than just ten reasons to love midwives but this year I wanted to compile a list of things I see constantly from our wonderful midwife practice here in Sudbury. From support to an awesome sense of humour, these ladies know how to make your birth memorable! 1. Words of Encouragement This is definitely something I witness at each birth where a midwife is present. Here, Nicole B. is talking Andrea through a difficult contraction by offering her words of affirmation and encouragement. It seems that midwives always know exactly what to say at the exact right time to keep you focused and empowered in your birth experience.
2. They're Invested in Your Birth Experience They share in your joy and empathize with your pain. They are right by your side, on this journey with you and they are invested in it. This is not simply their job, it's their passion and it shows! Here, you see midwife Meredith (right) taking part in guessing baby's birth weight. I believe she nailed it, based on Josh's face! Practice makes perfect!
3. They Involve You One of my favourite parts of a birth story is the placenta tour! I love watching the midwives teaching their clients all about the incredible organ that kept their baby alive for months! Here, Natalie is showing a very interested Alex the membranes that surrounded their baby girl and the hole in the sac from when Caitlyn's water broke.I love that the midwives take the time to show you the placenta and talk you through each fascinating part!
4. They Encourage You to Listen to Your Body Mama wants Oreo's, mama gets Oreo's. Unless medically necessary, you shouldn't expect to hear your midwife ask you not to eat or drink while in labour. Though they may recommend something a little more nutrient rich than an Oreo, this mama needed a sugary pick me up after hours of active labour, so that's exactly what she got!
5. They're Creative Their minds are always working to find comfortable solutions for you! Caitlyn's contractions weren't quite as strong as we needed them to be so she was using a double electric pump to bring on stronger contractions. As you can imagine, holding the flanges in place while going through contractions was difficult for her, so Lynne didn't hesitate to find a better solution. Here, Lynne is using steri strips to hold the pump in place. It worked like a charm!
6. They Encourage You to Catch Your Own Baby I can't imagine anything more beautiful than guiding your own baby into this world which is why it's incredible that midwives encourage this life changing experience. Here you'll see Natalie in each photo helping Josh guide his baby, born via gestational carrier, to his chest and Courtney, a student midwife herself, bring her own baby earthside. Such an empowering experience for both of them!
7. They Have a Great Sense of Humour
These first two photos show moments I won't soon forget! Caitlyn wanted to labour outside and was using a rebozo wrapped around a branch to help her do squats with each contraction. As a contraction eased off and Natalie moved forward to check baby's heart rate, her water broke! The text message Natalie sent to Lynne had us all laughing! (SROM = Spontaneous Rupture Of Membranes AKA water breaking)
In the third photo here, Sandie was quite a ways past her due date so when Sara took off her sweater to reveal her "Overdue" shirt, we all had a good laugh! These shirts were made as part of a campaign for pay equity being overdue, but Sara joked that it was the perfect shirt for Sandie's birth.
8. They're Wonderful Role Models
This little one was intrigued with everything the midwives were doing while her mama worked hard to birth her baby sister. Here, she's watching Nicole C. taking notes. Both Nicole and Natalie didn't hesitate to include her and explain what they were doing each step of the way. I think we had a future little midwife at this birth!
9. They Have Unexpected Pain Relief Techniques
Sandie was experiencing horrible back pain so midwives Meredith and Sara helped to relieve that pain with sterile water injections. Here, you can see the little bubbles of water formed under the skin. Wondering how this technique works? Here's a little blurb from Evidence Based Birth. "Researchers think that sterile water injections work by changing how a person perceives their pain. Sterile water injections work through something called the diffuse noxious inhibitory control method. The idea is that by painfully stimulating the lower back with these sterile injections, it causes the brain to release its own internal supply of morphine, called endorphins. These pain lowering hormones cause the person who’s in labor to perceive their labor pain as less painful."
10. The Safety of You and Your Baby are Their First Priority
I've heard it countless times "A home birth? But what if something goes wrong!?"
Midwives are trained to see the signs of a complication arising. The safety of you and your baby are always their first priority and your desires to have a home birth absolutely come second to that. Natalie and Lynne noticed signs at Caitlyn's birth that while not immediately emergent, had them concerned. They did not hesitate to call an ambulance and arrange a transfer to the hospital. The ambulance arrived in no more than two minutes and Caitlyn had an assisted birth at the hospital within half an hour of arriving at the hospital.
Sudbury has an incredible team of midwives at the Sudbury Community Midwife Practice that are so passionate about what they do. While each midwife is different, i've noticed these traits time and time again with each birth I attend with a midwife present.
Happy International Day of the Midwife to these wonderful midwives and to the rest of the midwives not pictured here! It is truly and honour and a pleasure to work alongside you!