What is a Midwife?
Since the beginning of human history, women have helped other women in the transition to motherhood. Midwives are the primary health care providers in most countries where birth is an integral part of family life.
Countries with the highest rate of midwifery care today – emphasizing competent prenatal care, education, and empowerment for the woman giving birth – also have the best outcomes for mothers and babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared in 1990 that birth was actually safer for mothers and babies when utilizing midwifer for pregnancy and childbirth.
Midwifery is based on a strong belief in partnership with childbearing women and respect for birth as a normal life event. Midwives strive to empower parents with knowledge and support their right to create the birth experience which is best for them.
Midwives respect intimacy, privacy, and family integrity, and draw on their own patience and understanding to provide care during pregnancy and birth.
The modern midwife is a health professional who provides holistic heath care to the childbearing woman and newborn. She respects a wide range of women’s need including personal and cultural values. Focusing on the natural processes of pregnancy, labor, and birth, she combines traditional skills and modern medical techiques to safeguard normal childbirth. The midwife maintains associations with physicians and other health care providers to ensure that mother and child have the best knowledge and technology available.
Midwives are the most time-honored and common primary caregivers for healthy women during their pregnancies and births in most countries throughout the world.