A midwife is a health professional working with future parents during a healthy pregnancy. They monitor them through childbirth and after the birth of the baby. They have undergraduate university training which includes internships in birthing homes and in hospitals. Most midwives in Quebec work in birthing homes, and in rare instances at home. To check to see if the service is available in your region, you can call the health and social services office nearest you. If you want to see an example of a birthing home, with a bath included in the room to give birth in water, please watch the video about childbirth in a birthing home to see what it’s like. It’s a good idea to ask the question at the start of your pregnancy to see if you would prefer this type of childbirth preparation.
You can expect to get questions about your health, your current status and your history before a midwife will accept to monitor you. If you already have health problems, pregnancy complications or other things that might place you at risk in a birthing home, you will likely be advised to work with a medical team for monitoring and childbirth. If you have complications during the pregnancy, the midwife will transfer you to a medical team so they can take over. In this situation, the midwife will accompany the couple to the hospital, but the doctor will then be responsible for the next steps.
I also find it important to differentiate between a birthing assistant, doula, and midwife. These different terms often confuse, and many wonder what their respective roles are during prenatal classes.
The birthing assistant shares the midwife philosophy concerning the natural vision of childbirth. They actively participate during labour, supporting the couple and other children as needed. They also assist the midwife in providing certain types of care for the mother, but can’t perform specific specialised procedures. Midwives train them, and they complete tasks requested by them.
A doula also shares the midwife philosophy. Chosen by parents during the pregnancy, a doula is present during the preparation for childbirth and is at the mother’s side during labour and delivery. They provide non-medical support which helps reduce the couple’s anxiety and increase their confidence. Doulas, who are often independent workers, aren’t health professionals. However, their services can round out medical monitoring. Parents must pay the costs for this service.
To finish this article, I would say that if you want to learn more, you can find additional information and visit birthing homes to get a better idea.
Here are links to interesting articles that are related to the topic:
- Realities of Childbirth
- A Birthing Plan (in french)
- Relaxation and Labour
- Relaxation and Pregnancy
Also related videos:
- Preparing your hospital stay
- The evolution of labour
- Natural childbirth in birthing homes
- The Bonapace Method
The Baby Expert
Please share your experiences in the comment section.