“What makes midwifery so desirable to birthing women? Simply put, midwifery promotes well-being. It is an art of service, in that the midwife recognizes, responds to and cooperates with natural forces. In this sense, midwifery is ecologically attuned, involving the wise utilization of resources and respect for the balance of nature.” Elizabeth Davis
Midwives, or ostetricas, are health professionals who give primary care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period. As primary care providers, midwives may be the first point of entry to maternity services, and are fully responsible for clinical decisions and the management of care within their scope of practice.
Midwives give the complete course of low-risk prenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care, including physical examinations, screening and diagnostic tests, the assessment of risk and abnormal conditions, and the conduct of normal vaginal deliveries. Midwifery care attends to the physical, psychological, and social well-being of women throughout childbearing.
Midwives offer a holistic approach.
Midwives work in collaboration with other health professionals and consult with or refer to medical specialists as appropriate. The midwifery model of care promotes normal birth, enables women to make informed choices, and provides continuity of care and support throughout the childbearing experience. Midwives attend births in hospitals, birth centres and at home.
In Italy all midwives are state licensed and University trained as well as belonging to the college of midwives.
A midwife would be a good choice of caregiver for you:
- If you are healthy and having a normal pregnancy
- If you want to have an active birth and avoid certain medical interventions
- If you want to develop a closer relationship with a caregiver who spends more time with you
A midwife should be your first choice if:
- You want a natural birth in a hospital with as few interventions as possible
- You want to birth in a birth center or at home
What does care with a midwife look like?
- They focus on maintaining health through proper nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction through pregnancy.
- The average appointment with a midwife is 60 to 90 minutes.
- She checks your weight, measures your belly to see how the baby is growing, listens for the heartbeat, and checks for signs of common health problems. Midwives tend to spend more time talking with their clients to develop a trusting relationship and make sure they are managing the social and emotional changes that happen during pregnancy as well as the physical changes.
- During births, midwives carefully watch the progress of labor and the health of mother and baby. They are more likely to use non-medical techniques during birth, such as movement, position changes, comfort measures, such as hot or cold packs, breathing techniques and baths or showers. Most midwives are happy to have you bring a doula along for your birth too because then they have someone to share the hands-on support with them.
- Midwives usually spend more time in the delivery room doing watchful waiting with their patients while they are in labor so they can pick up on changes that occur. If they see a problem developing they may use various techniques to correct the problem, or decide to engage an obstetrician or go to a hospital. In a hospital this can happen very quickly, but in a birth center or home birth it may take longer. Out-of-hospital midwives carry tools such as oxygen and medicines or herbs to stop bleeding if necessary. They have their own special ‘bag of tricks’ and their training focuses on avoiding those complications in the first place.
- Midwives work to keep birth as normal and healthy as possible.