For the first time since we moved back to Maryland, I had my first Obstetrics + Gynaecology (OBGYN) appointment yesterday. A few of my friends in Maryland are also pregnant, so I decided to choose a doctor based on one of their recommendations (thanks Rohini!). I wanted to go to an office that also offered the option of choosing a midwife…from what I’ve heard, the age-old practice of midwife deliveries are more calmer and more personal. When my mom heard about my desire for a midwife, she was concerned. : )
My mom came with me to my appointment. We met with a midwife named Jeanine. She was wonderful. For the most part she was as knowledgeable as a doctor, she is all about natural deliveries, she’s strong in personality, she’s funny, she’s delivered 700 babies, and what I am most excited about is that we think she is a Christian. After answering all the questions I had, she spoke the words I was waiting to hear, “and now it’s time to hear your baby’s heartbeat.” And a perfectly strong heartbeat it was.
“Midwifery. The word brings to mind a pregnant woman in a softly lit room, laboring with intent, touched and tended by gentle women who are experienced and wise in the ways of labor and birth. One role of midwives is to protect the sanctity of birth and to honor and cherish women both as they strive to bring forth new life and throughout their lives.
Historically, the word “midwife” has been translated to mean “with woman,” implying a trusted presence and compassionate caring as rock-solid and immutable as the force of labor. In more recent times, the phrase “with woman” has been expanded to mean caring for women across the lifespan; many midwives now have clinical expertise in and offer a wide array of women‘s health services such as reproductive health care, care of reproductive health problems, and primary care services.
An alternate way of interpreting the phrase “with woman” is not simply being present and providing service to women, but validating women‘s experience of being female and creating environments where women are empowered to find their own voices. The compassionate care of women is the byproduct of a culture of respect, not only of women, but also of the mystery and miracle of fertility and procreation.” — this excerpt was taken from the article, “Keeping the Midwifery Legacy Alive”
This link will direct you to an interesting list of articles from the magazine publication, Midwifery Today.