There is something so sweet, so gentle, so absolutely awe-inspring about a midwife-led, newborn baby well-exam. Typically done well into baby's second hour of life, the exam is so absolutely tender and filled with love, that my heart aches for the beauty of it.
Midwives are not just trained to deliver babies and provide well-woman care, they are also trained in care of the newborn. They make sure all is well, checking for any abnormalities that are not caught during prenatal testing, making sure that everything is working properly and that baby is thriving. Often people confuse midwives and doulas, thinking that midwives are just doulas who decide they want to start helping women birth their babies at home. It is quite the contrary. Doula training is typically just a certification process from a 3-4 day class. On the other hand, Midwives have 3-4 years of schooling that is not only academic, but clinical as well. They bring with them a "mini-hospital" to home births (or at their birth centers)-- and have advanced training in life-saving support skills. In many states, they must pass national boards (such as NARM ) and often, like here in the state of California, must be licensed through the state where they practice in.
I consider myself one of the luckiest women on earth to have been present at so many home births. Witnessing and watching in awe at this most tender and loving care for these babies when they arrive earthside.
There is this beautiful saying, “The way a woman gives birth can affect the whole of the rest of her life. How can that not matter? Unless the woman herself does not matter.” (Beverley Beech and Belinda Phipps) --I feel that they same is true about our children as well. How they are welcomed into this world is so, so significant. Not every woman feels safe at home, and not every woman can give birth safely at home, but I know that our hospitals and our OBs could learn so much from the wise, tender ways of midwives.
What do you think? xoxo