Monday, 6 May 2013

International Day of the Midwife - 5th May 2013

I was away with family for International Midwives Day this year so unable to post this yesterday. 

Just wanted to say that I am so very lucky to have the 2 best jobs in the world – Mum and Midwife! It is a privilege to be part of the most special part of a woman’s life and I always feel in awe of every mother, father and child at every birth. I am honoured to call these amazing strong Midwives colleagues and would like to say a huge thank you to every Midwife to everything you do.

So, what exactly is a midwife?

A midwife is...

…a health professional who, in partnership with a woman, provides specialist care, education and support during pregnancy, birth, postnatal and the early parenting period.

Midwives believe that pregnancy and childbirth are normal and significant life events for women and their families and respect and support this transition.

Midwives work in many settings including hospitals, birth centres and the community. Midwifery care includes the detection of complications in mother and baby, the referral to other specialists as needed, and the initiation of necessary emergency care. Midwives also have an important role in health counselling and the provision of information to women, their families and the community.

Registration as a midwife is dependant upon successful completion of a recognised midwifery education program and, continuing demonstration of the necessary knowledge, skill and experience to provide safe and professional midwifery care.”

Basically a Midwife is a person (usually a woman) who is an expert in normal pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period. They can work with women (and their families) before conception, during pregnancy, during labour and birth, and during the first 6 weeks of their baby’s life and beyond.

Midwives work in

▪Public and Private hospitals – in Antenatal Clinics, the Antenatal Ward, the Birthing Unit, Birthing Centres, the Postnatal Ward, Midwifery at Home, Neonatal Special/Intensive Care Units, and in Caseload/Group Practise Models.

▪Independantly – providing continuity of care to their clients.

▪With Doctors – in Obstetrician and GP’s rooms.

▪In Community Health

▪And many, many more.

Midwives provide expert care to women, babies and their families and are very dedicated. We often work during all hours of the day and night, weekends, school holidays, anniversary’s, birthday’s and any other time we are needed. We work long hours often spend kneeling on the floor over the edge of a bath with a labouring woman, sitting with a woman and her baby during a breastfeed or holding a woman’s hand during a hard time. We skip meals and bathroom breaks, hurt our backs and stain our clothes. We are passionate about empowering women to have their best pregnancy, birth and early parenting experience. Our families are patient, understanding and listen to our rants. We are hardworking, lucky and in my opinion, have the best job in the world.

To become a midwife in Australia you need to complete a university course. There are several ways;

▪A Bachelor of Midwifery – a 3 year undergraduate university degree.

▪A Graduate Diploma or Masters of Midwifery – a postgraduate university course where applicants need to be a Registered Nurse. Courses range from 12 months to 2 years in duration.

▪There are also double degrees Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Midwifery available.

I love my job but it isn’t always easy. To succeed you need to be passionate, patient and hard working – but it is worth it! If your interested, look at the Australian College of Midwives website for your state.

To all my colleagues, thank you for your support, dedication and passion. I hope you had a lovely day and celebrated the wonder of what we do.

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