What are the hallmarks of midwifery?

Happy Wednesday! I’m still flying high from our awesome Disney trip last month and an awesome birth over the weekend that sang midwifery hallmarks to the top of our Alaska mountains. The mama had prepared for birth so well and during her contractions, she was so stoic you could barely tell she was contracting. I supported her through labor mainly by my presence and my words. Her husband was her main support person; her nurse and I just supported the both of them in whatever way we could, from contraction to contraction. They were so perfectly in sync and it was a beautiful birth.

I tell this story because to me, this is the difference between a midwife and an OB/GYN. This is the type of support women need in labor. Often times, I find that sitting on the ground to give back support to a mama on hands and knees, or a shoulder rub to a mama that just needs a little break, or giving a mama a glass of ice-cold-hospital-brand-Sprite right after delivery….these are my favorite ways to support women. In midwifery school they teach you that sometimes one of the hardest (and best things) to do for your patients is to do nothing. That’s because midwifery recognizes that birth is a normal process and that your body is super smart.

Midwifery has also long known the value of human presence in birth. It’s one of the hallmarks of the profession. Today, I want to share these hallmarks. To me, these are the elevator speech for the profession.

And, if you are seeking a provider to care for you during your pregnancy or birth, these should be your expectations. There should be no exceptions.


Now it’s your turn to share! How have you seen the hallmarks of midwifery in your pregnancy or birth? Did you have a provider that exemplified one of these traits? How do you think the healthcare and maternity system can change to make these “hallmarks” the standard of care?

Can’t wait to see your responses. Even 7 years into practice, I still feel like I’m learning to do these hallmarks better and better each day.


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