The Role Of A Midwife

The role of a midwife. The role of a midwife or doula is to assist in home births, hospital births, postpartum care, and newborn care. In some places, it's illegal for a midwife to transport a mother to the...

In some places, it's illegal for a midwife to transport a mother to the hospital or to perform a home birth (whether uncomplicated, breech, or multiples). Luckily, that's not the case in most of the U.S. Even when a woman chooses to deliver in the hospital, I still do the regular postpartum care that I would do for a mom who had a home birth. I still come to see her on day #1, on day #3, at one week, and then at two weeks. Often I'll also still run the newborn screening after two weeks, just as if she'd had a home birth. Even if we have to transport a woman to the hospital, we still get paid, because being a midwife isn't all about delivering the baby. Sometimes it's about making the call something isn't normal and medical attention is needed. That's why I've never had a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarian) client at home. I have been a doula for one and highly recommended that she have another C-section.

A large part of my role is simply to support the mother. When I started my first week as a parent, I left the hospital feeling like I didn't have a clue what to do. My hospital didn't offer any educational classes. That's why I try to encourage women to find answers on their own. Parenting is different for everyone. There is no wrong or right path. I think it empowers women as mothers, because once the birth is over, you're kind of thrown out there on your own for a lifetime of decision making and helping to guide another person. I feel like it's my job to help mothers find all the information they can, and then I support them in their decisions.

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