23 Mar Finding Your Inner Midwife
I have been thinking lately of the role of a midwife during birth. A dear friend and fabulous midwife describes midwifery care as 90% caring and 10% clinical, and I often see this to be true. I also whole-heartedly believe that the best role of a midwife in a birth is to hold and guard the birth space, to allow a woman to do her own work of labor in a circle of love and support.
I was blessed to have an amazing woman attending the birth of my daughter. She is a good friend, a mentor, a teacher, and a colleague. Throughout Hazel’s labor and birth, she was present, offered support, told me what to do when I needed it, and allowed me to find my inner midwife. My midwife gave me guidance, took pictures, kept an eye on my labor and helped to steer it in the right direction, without me ever really being aware of it. Having worked with her both before and after our birth, I knew and trusted that she was doing the 10% clinical part of my care, but that didn’t stand out.
My favorite part of our birth memory – while she will always be part of my birth memory and my story, I have also always felt that I was doing the work of labor and birthing. I was so glad she was there and I knew I could have done it without her. I was fortunate to have my needs met exactly. It shaped my mothering, and my midwifery care.
While my inner midwife have been slightly easier to access (I literally had the voice of another midwife who trained me talking in my head), I believe women who have never experienced a birth other than their own can also find the voice inside them, that instinctual knowledge of birth.
As you approach your next birth, consider what is important to you in your birth support. Every woman’s needs in birth are unique; they are often unique from birth to birth, and sometimes even within the same labor! What can best help you to find and embrace your inner midwife?
AnnMarie RianWanzeck, LM/CPM