Great midwives are truly special people.
They are angels, protecting and guiding new life into our world with compassion and care.
They are battlers sacrificing time with their own families to support the development and expansion of other families in their community.
They are educators and experts in birth, supporting new couples to confidently and safely transition to parenthood.
They are advocates and defenders for justice, freedom of choice, bodily autonomy for women and retention of culture and traditions. They play a vital role in protecting the rights of women, girls and midwives by ensuring they can exercise their full human rights, particularly their reproductive and sexual health rights in their communities and countries of practice.
And on today, International day of the Midwife, they are deserving of recognition and thanks.
As I meet more women in my line of work and every day life, I realise sadly not all women experience the support they wish for during their perinatal period.
While they can seem to be angels, midwives are also just Human. Some midwives are amazing at what they do, other midwives are just doing their ‘job’ and others, well, lets say maybe they should be investing in another career.
Reflecting on my personal experiences, I think I’ve been one of the “lucky ones” who has been mostly supported by my midwifery and birthing team.
Look, things werent perfect in the perinatal period for both my two daughters and I experienced some minor hiccups: a tongue tie that was not picked up until late in the piece, some of my birth preferences ignored due to priorities shifting to the safety and health of my baby, and feeling the reservation from the midwives when I preempted some feeding issues etc. But on the whole, when I reflect on these experiences what I feel is an overwhelming admiration, respect and sincere gratitude for the amazing midwives in our community.
Admiration for the dedication and commitment of great midwives in their pursuit to support couples in their journey to parenthood with care and compassion.
Respect for the skill and presence that great midwives have in not only ensuring a safe arrival of a baby, but also in advocating for women’s rights and freedoms.
Sincere gratitude for the birthing professionals whom I personally worked with, who gave me the confidence, space and compassion during this life changing time, and left me feeling heard, connected, valued and respected.
In my case this was represented by:
- The continuity of care I received; having midwives visit me in my home, prior to, during and after the birth.
- Being told with genuine belief that I was ready to birth my baby and was doing a great job in those moments when I was ready to give up.
- Being informed and asked about any procedures prior to administration, and receiving acceptance where I declined routine tests.
- Being heard and respected, given referrals to heart specialists, doctors and lactation consultants where required and never being made to feel judged or inferior for my feeding or parenting choices.
So, as I reflect on my own and other’s experiences today, I thank all men and women in this profession for doing the wonderful work they do, helping women bring their babies earth side with compassion, belief, confidence and support.
I thank you for your hard work, commitment and sacrifices, and for your willingness to fight for women’s rights and choices.
Today I thank the wonderful midwives who supported me and my family on our two birth journeys: Debbie, Bec, Chris, Mana, and their beautiful teams. Thank you for your confidence in me and my body. Thank you for listening, showing compassion, and allowing me the space to birth in a way that was right for me and my baby.
Thank you to the midwives I have met in the past few years who have welcomed me into their lives, challenged my ways of thinking and validated my personal experiences and further career plans.
Thank you to the midwives who will be part of my future. I look forward to building positive relationships and supporting women in the best way possible.
On this special day, is there a midwife in your life you want to pass a message on to?