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  • Sharon Tenuta

Midwife Support Realized

baby bump being held
Mother and baby bump in contemplation

7-7-24                                 S. Tenuta

When I had a midwife, in my early pregnancy experiences, I thought of that midwife as a doctor outside of the hospital.  I trusted she would tell me what I needed to know.  I trusted she would recognize my physical, mental, and emotional needs along with my baby’s.  I really did little research for myself, mostly because I was so busy and did not check in with myself about the importance of self and baby needs.  I was like a passenger on the midwife's train of wisdom.  I trusted the fact that she was a midwife and therefore she had the answers I wanted, even if I had not enough questions to ask.  I suppose that was naïve.  It was the place I was in. 

I saw this imaginary world of the perfect birth, in a lovely and peaceful space that was created by the midwife.  Now, I see that was not a responsible way of looking at my personal pregnancy journey.  I was letting the world happen without taking time to do my part to be part of the process.

What would be responsible midwife support for a mother to be or a pregnant mommy?  I would like to propose the midwife to be a guide, a listener, an evaluator, educator and a valuable resource for the mother to participate in her journey as she brings a soul to earth through her physical body.  This means the mother takes charge of listening to her inner being, to her baby, to her body and to her intuition to participate fully in her pregnancy and birth.  The midwife also listens to mother, and to baby, and observes physical and emotional signs from the mother that guide her in the role she plays during this pregnancy experience.

The midwife also asks questions of the mother.  Is the mother eating plenty of protein and veggies.  Is she drinking fluids that add to her hydration?  Is baby giving messages to mother that are confirming of baby’s wellness?  Is baby sending signals that mother needs to pay better attention to her baby and her body?  Is mother resting when needed?  Is mother taking time to hear baby?  Are there any physical symptoms that want to be heard?  What habits are beneficial and what needs some tweaking?  Is mother intuitive?  Is mother open to new ways of looking at health or personal care? 

Does the mother carry a spiritual aspect to her being?  Does she recognize this?  Does she practice a religion?  Does she have beliefs that help or hinder a healthy pregnancy and labor and birth?  What parts of the pregnancy process need to be explained? What does mother know about her own personal birth? Does mother have any traumas that need to be worked through? What would give mother freedom to fully be confident in herself?  Does mother understand the natural process of labor and birth through the hormonal symphony of the body itself?  Does the mother face the fact that both life and death are related?  Can the experience of pregnancy and birth or death be the journey of every mother, as these are faced in a realistic way?

Questions that are wise to ask per the postbirth experience might include: Will mother participate in a lotus birth? Will the cord be cut immediately or wait a period of time or not at all? Will mother and baby and possibly father participate in the skin to skin, within the first hour of baby's life? Will baby be exposed to shots and ointments? Will a baby boy's genitals be left in tact or not?

These are lots of questions.  The midwife is a type of researcher.  She knows much, but her role is not to put all her information onto the client.  Her role would be to help a mother question things herself, to research information that would cause her to ask more questions and to find her own inner peace in whatever answers she comes up with.  Mother needs to grow into her confident motherhood.  The midwife can help this or hinder this depending upon her training and personal experiences.

With midwife support realized, I contend that the midwife needs to be well educated, and to be intuitive.  She needs to be able to connect with her mothers and families in a way that brings out the best of the mommy.  She needs to know the emergency procedures for those special occasions that come her way or her client’s way.  She needs to listen, to hear, to educate when necessary, to challenge when necessary, to speak the truth in a way that helps mother find her own personal confidence in hearing her baby and in hearing her own innate wisdom. 

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