Birth is one of the most miraculous, amazing, and transformative experiences in this thing we call life. Of course, it can also be pretty terrifying! In fact, many first-time moms don’t quite comprehend what they’ve got in store, which is why it pays to have a great midwife by their side. But what exactly does a midwife do? Read on to find out!
40. Midwives aren’t just for prenatal care and childbirth
Some women may think their midwife will be with them throughout their pregnancy and during the birth, but after that they’re on their own. This isn’t true at all, though — they’ll also visit you at home in your postpartum period. They can even be with you long term, handling complaints such as minor infections, giving you nutritional advice and if needed, helping you manage the menopause.
39. But they are not nurses
Whatever you do, don’t assume a midwife and a nurse are the same thing — they are very different roles. Midwives can give medication to mothers, and they do carry out some roles which were once the domain of doctors. But they do not deal with sick or injured people the way a nurse would.
38. Midwives and doulas are also not the same thing
Not only are midwives not the same as nurses, they’re also not the same as doulas either! Doulas are trained companions who provide support — both physical and emotional — to a mother before, during and after pregnancy. They aren’t medical staff, though, and can’t administer medication or deliver a baby the way a midwife can.
37. The feeling of responsibility can be a scary thing
According to Buzzfeed writer Hilary Mitchell, midwives she spoke to said the sense of responsibility in the job can be frightening. She described, “Suddenly realizing that you’re holding the life, health, and wellbeing of more than one person in your hands is daunting, and all the training in the world can’t take that feeling away completely.” Learning to work through this fear is truly a commendable thing.