Who are Midwives?
Midwives are key players on the health care team, working with other caregivers to provide women and their babies the best possible care.
"Midwife" means "with woman". Midwives are trained specialists who care for women throughout pregnancy and childbirth. More than 80 percent of babies world-wide are born into the caring, skillful hands of a midwife.
In Manitoba, since June 12, 2000 the College of Midwives of Manitoba regulates the profession of midwifery according to the Midwifery Act and Regulation. Midwives offer a new choice for you and your baby. Our web site will answer some of your questions about this important profession.
A midwife is a person who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and legally licensed to practice midwifery in Manitoba. A midwife must be able to give the necessary care and advice to women during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct deliveries on their own responsibility, and to care for the infant and the mother. This care includes preventive measures, the detection of abnormal conditions in the mother and child, accessing medical assistance when necessary and taking emergency measures in the absence of medical help. The midwife will have a mechanism for consultation, referral, continued involvement and collaboration.
The midwife has an important task in health promotion, counselling, and education, not only for the woman but also for the family and the community. Midwifery practice can involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood, and extend to certain areas of gynecology, family planning and child care. Midwives practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, health units, community health centres, birth centres and homes.
- believe that pregnancy and birth are part of a woman's general health. Midwives expect childbirth to be straightforward but they are skilled and know what to do if there are any complications or difficulties.
- recognize that pregnancy and birth affect a woman and her family deeply. Midwives know that the changes in the childbearing year affect a woman emotionally, spiritually and socially, as well as physically.
- get to know you. You will see the same midwives all through your pregnancy. You can expect that a midwife you know will be with you throughout your labour and when your baby is born.
- will answer your questions and talk to you about your worries. They will give you information about healthy foods, feeding your baby, different choices for labour pain and other topics.
- can be with you at the birth wherever you want your baby to be born. Midwives can be with you in a hospital, birth centre or at your home. If you need extra care a midwife can put you in touch with a doctor, public health nurse or other caregiver.
- are highly trained and experienced. Around the world, midwives have excellent records of safety and offer high-quality care for mothers and babies.