Tuesday, June 07, 2016

What is Midwifery?

If you have three minutes, I want to tell you about this photo.

Lots of people think that Midwifery is a little bit odd, Amiright? 

(Maybe it is odd. Maybe the way it is odd is a really good kind of odd.)

I've learned that some people think Midwives aren't trained and maybe don't practice caring for people with integrity or medical excellence. I've given enough tours of the Maternity Center to pick up on some of the bummer perceptions and presumptions.

Midwifery is many things. If you'll allow me, I would like to explain.

First and foremost it is this, ^ the photo you see above. 

A young woman that has already lost two babies in her life, is anticipating the arrival of her little one. She asks Beth McHoul to hold her and comfort her during her 24 + hour labor - and Beth wraps her up in the love and tenderness and reassurance she needs in that moment.

Later, Beth used medical skills and knowledge and a lot of training and experience to help this Momma do the brave work she needed to do in order to push a new life into the world.

Beth knew how to handle the delivery and the bleeding and she knew how to help get the baby crying and breathing well. She knew about best practices and that in the developing world certain ways of managing the 3rd stage (placenta) make a lot of sense and help improve our outcomes. Beth knew to get the baby breastfeeding early and place the mother and child skin to skin. She put all that knowledge to work in the moments following delivery and continued to offer her support for several days after the birth.

All of this is wonderful and valuable! However, Beth's intimate knowledge of the Mom's life and medical history, the relationship she had built during prenatal care, and her understanding of the fears that the young Mom carried into the birth room the day of her labor were key to this lovely moment of trust and vulnerability.

Midwifery and the model we employ at The Heartline Maternity Center means BEING WITH WOMEN - whatever that looks like.

If you would like to help us be with women, we are currently in need of monthly sponsors that can support with a $25 per month donation. 

This support allows us to pay our amazing staff (jobs in Haiti are a wonderful thing too!) and keep offering these services.