Oftentimes when mothers come to us, they don’t understand what is the difference in the model of care that we are offering. And I think one of the things that is very clear to me is that, whereas there is scope for both models of care to coexist and it should. The difference between obstetric care and midwifery care is night and day.
The obstetric care sees the woman as somebody to be dealt with, talk to, tests, and scans done at appropriate intervals. And essentially, there is this way of giving information which is only passively received by the mother and their partner. And many times, one of the stark things that mothers will tell us when they come to us say, maybe mid-pregnancy, like 24, 28 weeks, they will tell us that – wow; for the first time somebody told us and asked us questions! Or they allowed us to give us time for us to ask them questions.When you are at the passive end of receiving information, sometimes we will process some of it, sometimes none. And then you are still left with many more question marks.
And then if you’re given information for say about to go do this test or do this scan, and if nobody ever discussed with you, what are the results going to tell you, what we are going to do with the results of that test and what would you like to do with the result of the test. Then, those results come and it makes no sense to you.
And many people will say, for example, that I would live the last six months I was living my pregnancy from one checkup to another. I, would every, every check-up that would come up I would feel like, as if I had an exam to clear, I would go there and then they would say, the doctor would say, everything is okay.
And I would say…phewww…you know. Whereas the midwifery care actually looks at the woman and the very first checkup we ask, what would you want out of your pregnancy, labor, and birth. The first checkup usually lasts for about an hour. And one of the first things that I asked the mom is – do you know why you’ve come to me?
We usually talk to the partner and they’ll sometimes they will look and say, what do you mean I’ve come to you for a checkup? And sometimes the parents will say, I’m coming because I’ve heard that you, in this center there are more normal deliveries or you can give us a normal delivery.
And I look at them and I say, normal delivery is not mine to give or take. The essence of midwifery care is to let the woman who is already marinating in physical, emotional, hormonal, you know, like there’s, she’s marinating in all these. for lack of a better word, emotions.And for her to be able to sit and pause and think about what the baby means to her, what the pregnancy means to her, maybe she is completely stressed with all the work and the pressures from work or from home that she’s facing.
What kind of, what does support look like to her at her home? When it comes to labor and birth, how would she like to receive her baby? Who does she envision being next to her when the baby comes into this world? What kind of support does she look for during the pregnancy? What is her relationship with her partner?
What kind of relationship would she like with her care provider? And unless we explored all these things how does she get strong, confident, and then say, this is my baby. I’m going to give birth. Nobody is going to deliver to me. And that’s the essence of midwifery care, but it allows you to bloom into your motherhood.