A midwife is a woman who is trained to assist women during childbirth. Midwives have been around since time immemorial. Whenever a child was born, there was someone to assist the mother. Typically, a woman but not exclusive to women only. Midwives are very important. They provide security to the mother, instill confidence and courage in her to deliver her newborn. Other than emotional security, they also secure the women especially in a more traditional setup, to stand in a manner that is safe enough for the baby to be delivered.


Today a midwife’s role has only gotten more complex, adding on more responsibilities through their sound care and experience. As a female midwife, they are able to relate and communicate with the new mother in a more intimate way. Their gender allows them to provide support for postpartum care, sexual health and reproductive health with deeper understanding. They inform mothers on what to expect after pregnancy and the changes they will experience as new mothers caring for a newborn. They also advise mothers on how to care for themselves after delivery and the changes to expect in their bodies.

Midwives do the legwork by making home visits and doing the regular check-ups at the mother’s convenience. During this time blood pressure is measured and any aches and pains are addressed. Questions surrounding childbirth, postpartum recovery and reproductive health is addressed. At this stage, it is important to note that midwives also have the opportunity to inform new mothers on baby’s vaccines because they do give advice on what steps they need to take to get their babies vaccinated. At baby clinics, nurses administer baby vaccines. By doing so, nurses and midwives support the new mothers and

baby by giving them this advice. When it comes to delivery, except in special cases and emergencies, midwives deliver the newborns. It can be done by them solely because they are trained to take on normal cases especially those who prefer to deliver naturally. By conducting natural birth deliveries successfully, they support doctors and other patients who need them urgently.

Doctors are called in for emergency c-sections, or when the patient prefers to have a c-section. They also support nurses, by being the first point of contact for the mother and child after birth to confirm safe delivery of the child and good health of both. They also take time to relay this information to the family who is waiting for the good news of the birth of their child. This would normally be the job of the nurse.

Historically midwifery has been taught and learned through apprenticeship. An experienced older woman teaches a younger woman how to assist women through childbirth including the medications and natural remedies they would use to ease the pain. They were also taught how to soothe women and rub their backs to make them more comfortable through the life-changing process. According to ancient history, it was believed that it was easier for mothers to give birth while seated; and so a chair was provided for them to sit on. The birthing chair had armrests to allow the mother to hold onto something while she labored and, in most cases, it had a backrest for her to push against during the strains of delivery. In the times when the mother used a birthing stool. An assistant to the midwife (called a doula) would stand behind her and support her. When the birth got more difficult or was anticipated as a difficult birth she would call a physician to assist her. Just the way it is still done today.


Midwifery is an underrated profession, and one with so much importance. Bringing life into the world needs skilled and dedicated hands, that is sure and also comforting. It is a profession that also needs more support, by educating and training more interested women.

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