For centuries midwives have been in a position of promoting health to mothers and their babies, they are the experts in normal birth.
I love the process of pregnancy and birth, it was during my first pregnancy that I discovered this. With each of my successive pregnancies and birthing my children my awe and love of it grew even more. The six years I spent working in a labor delivery unit solidified my desire to learn and grow in my knowledge of pregnancy and birth, hence midwifery became the obvious choice for me.
I knew there was more to be had then what was typically experienced in the medical model of care. I knew this, because I am among the fortunate few that although having had hospital births was able to have few interventions done to me. I was also aware of how those interventions that I did undergo affected me physiologically and emotionally, both at the time they were done and later in life. Working in the hospital I witnessed only a small percentage of women who were able to experience normal/natural/physiological births. I know the power of birth, and how the atmosphere during a birth has the ability to impact all who witness it. I concluded that indeed, there is something sacred about birth.
Coming to the decision to pursue midwifery was an organic one for me. Although during my pursuit of becoming a midwife I have had to remind myself of that fact. Finding creative ways to pay for my education has been overwhelming, literally exhausting all of my personal resources at this point. I have also become very weary of the turbulent climate around birth and midwifery care world-wide. Feeling as though I have to defend the practice of midwifery among society and specifically those who are more familiar with the medical model of care is frustrating.
It is true that women in developing countries where the majority of maternal deaths occur are greatly impacted by having a skilled birth attendant. However, the assumption that they are the only demographic of women to truly benefit from midwifery practices is ignorant. All one has to do is look at the birth outcomes in countries where midwives are the primary practitioners for normal birth (low risk women). These countries have the lowest maternal and infant deaths rates, the midwives are an essential part of maternal health care. There is much more that could be said regarding the political climate surrounding birth globally, however, my primary intention for this post is to let you know where I am at in my training.
So here is the actual update on me….
In 8 days I will be boarding a plane bound for the Philippines again to complete another internship. For the next 3 months I will be in a small mountain town, this birth center, like the one I recently returned from also provides free maternal services to local women. I will be working with both western and local midwives and am hopeful that I will be able to complete many of my clinical requirements and further develop my skills while I am there.
When I return to the U.S. in August I will be headed back to SC to finish my clinical requirements working under a midwife at a birth center. This will be the final phase of my training and I hope to sit for state and board exams sometime in 2013.
If you are interested in how you can partner with me in helping mothers and babies in the Philippines this summer and in other countries in the near future, send me a message. I would be happy to discuss with you what my needs are so that I am able to go and serve those in need.