Midwifery care is becoming more and more popular in the US. Many women are choosing midwives to help them deliver their babies in every birth setting - home, hospital and birth centers. The Midwives Alliance of North America issued itself a challenge several years ago. That challenge is 20,000 midwives delivering 20% of the babies by 2020. It is an ambitious goal, but how can midwives be so bold as to create this goal for themselves? The answer is easy. Midwifery care is the Gold Standard of Maternity Care.
Pregnancy and childbirth are natural, normal body events. They are as normal as your heart beating, your stomach digesting and your brain thinking. Your uterus is designed to conceive, grow, contract and return to normal by the Almighty Creator itself! For the well-being of women and babies and for the betterment of our society, birth must shift away from the over managed, overly technical medical approach of the medical industrial complex back to the understanding, respect and reverence of normal, timeless, physiological birth.
The medical model of obstetric care is myopic in its scope. Truthfully, all of medical care is myopic in its scope because it is looking at the physical body. We all know that the human being is more than just a physical body. We are made up of four aspects - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. And each aspect affects and is affected by the other. Complete care takes all of these aspects of humanity into account when talking to someone about how their baby is moving. In order for medicine to advance, it doesn't need new technology to make it better, it needs a heart. Midwives are experts in providing care that is heart centered. A person who lives and sees fully from their heart, sees the whole person standing in front of them.
Another reason midwifery care excels is because it is a model for patient care that provides autonomy and it is an excellent example of how the care provider and the patient can work together for the best outcomes possible. Using evidence based practices and collective decision making, midwives are the leaders in building caring, loving relationships that leave pregnant moms with more answers than questions. Midwifery clients are overall far more satisfied with their experience than any other care provider. And midwives have the statistics to prove that midwifery care is safe care.
Midwives could be and should be the leaders in a health care revolution. Starting with the notion that all women deserve good care. All women deserve loving attention. All women deserve time - during prenatals, during birth, during the transition into motherhood, learning how to breastfeed. Midwives spend an average of 45 minutes with their clients during each prenatal visit. This is NOT a money making model of care. However, it is a 'health and well-being-making' model of care. The priorities of the medical system are off...money and liability protection are not the most important aspects of patient care. Patient care is the most important aspect of patient care. And that takes time, attention, an open heart, listening and thoughtful responses.
The fact is, midwifery actually exemplifies the most compelling ideas for health care reform because true midwifery care is woman-led care. Intuition is a valued part of the assessment, anecdotal evidence carries some weight, the mystery of the pregnancy and birth process is honored and revered, trust is what is encouraged, faith in the process is at the center and the mother/baby is celebrated. Woman-led care has the best outcomes, always. Don't ALL women deserve this?
Peaceful birthing to you all....