It sounds funny if you say it aloud, “midwifery.” However funny it may sound, it isn’t. It is a very serious profession that often goes unrecognized, or if recognized, it often gets looked down on. Midwives delivery babies in a natural atmosphere with as little intervention as possible. Some deliver only at home, but some have hospital access or even work for a hospital. There are different types of midwives and different paths to becoming one. But as I was reminded, they all lead to the same place: Midwifery. A place and title help with great respect and little forgiveness.
One who holds the title of “midwife” should never take it lightly or become “too big for her britches.” (I’m from the south; it’s a saying). The midwives I have come to know and respect do not hold their title with disdain for doctors or with so much pride that can come in the way of handling their job. They love their patients, treat them with care, and absolutely value their opinions and wants/needs during pregnancy and labor and delivery. They will stop at nothing to make sure their patients are safe, and their babies are safe–even if that means referring them to an OB to deliver at a hospital or have a cesarean. Yes, I’ve heard of others who don’t act according to these standards, but that is not the norm and definitely not what I have come to see. These women truly love their patients.
I’ve often been asked to switch from being a doula to train as a midwife. I love my job, though. And if I stop, will there be someone to pick up those clients that I would be leaving? Right now, the answer is no. I take clients that choose different birth plans and doctors than most. Do they still deserve a doula? Of course! So, I decided on a happy medium for me. I will be attending a midwife assistant and monitrice training course. I will also be taking midwife classes, while still doulaing. I believe this will benefit me, as well as my clients. I do not yet know if I am ready for the full responsibility of being a midwife. However, I know that this training will give me a foot in the door, more knowledge and training, and a greater respect for the art of midwifery, itself.