Developing a Birth Philosophy
A wise and important step in preparing for midwifery is to develop a philosophy of midwifery and birth. We once taught a conference class in London, England called, “Midwifery: A Profession Looking for a Philosophy.” My friend, Suzanne Colson, believes that midwifery is all over the board without a strong underlying philosophy. That means that it is up to the individual to think about, discuss and develop her own philosophy.
Knowing your birth philosophy will help put a strong foundation under you. This foundation will serve you well when the pressures of education and or practice begin to overtake you. What are your ideals?
I believe that the protection of motherbaby is key to a philosophy of birth. We should never compromise them just to make a doctor or institution happy. Love and dedication are the foundation for such a philosophy. Do we serve motherbaby and families or do we serve “the Man” - meaning our certification, licensing, laws or doctor back up?
The midwifery model encompasses being careful, really careful to protect motherbaby. Unnecessary and/or routine tests, ultrasound, fetal monitoring and induction and other non evidence-based “standard(s) of care” - or lack thereof - put motherbaby in the dangerous path of a technological freight train about to hit them. Anything done to a motherbaby should be very carefully considered for safety. No harm - mental, physical or spiritual - should come to this precious motherbaby.
I realize that doulas and midwives have to deal with the added complication of dealing with parent’s philosophies. It is hard to protect those who won’t protect themselves or just don’t know. We need to consider how to better inform them of the miracle they are living, as well as the pitfalls of the mindless use of technology.
What is your philosophy of midwifery and birth? Write and tell me about it. If you are a beginning midwife or doula, it is essential that you take the time to work on this important aspect of answering your call.