Who are midwives and what is midwifery?

Dr. Vijaya Krishnan shares her views about Midwives and midwifery and how it is an independent branch of maternity care

What is midwifery is the question that’s often asked? Because in India we don’t have at least to the general population, there is not a broad understanding of who a midwife is right. Typically the midwifery midwives that we have heard from our parents or grandparents have been the local traditional midwife who has come into your homes when you know, my grandma, my grandmom was 16 when she gave birth to my mother and that the story goes that, you know, she came in, she found my mother breach, and then she with her skill, she turned her and they had a baby at home.

So anyway, the general impression of the midwife is somebody who is, you know, who is skilled but may not have the medical background or the backing and may not be able to identify risks. And therefore, we have sort of, in our culture itself, we have a sideline, the traditional midwives, and paid more attention to hospital-based care.

The scientific midwifery that we are talking about here today is one where there is a lot of education that has gone into it. Most of us have had about five, six years of not only, you know studying and getting our degrees and licenses, but also a long history of apprenticeship where we learn, not only about the biology and the physiology, but also how beautifully the emotional, physical psychological come together when this mother is pregnant, and the beauty of a body that makes the baby and the power of the woman who then, takes the pregnancy as her own and, and sees it in a light, which allows her to bloom into her motherhood.

So that’s what, the scientific midwifery does. It knows what is normal. It knows what is outside of the range of normal. It is a specialty in itself. It’s not we are not doctors. We are not nurses. This, this is an independent branch of maternity care, which is specializing in taking care of the normal, healthy Lotus woman.