When you start a family, having a strong support system is really important, especially for first time mums and dads. This can include everyone from friends, to family and even a midwife.
Midwives can make all the difference in the world to new parents, especially during their pregnancy journey, labour, birth, and initial post-natal period.
Carol Norton, a midwife from the Australian College of Midwives, shares the important role a midwife can play in the lives of new parents and what the benefits are of engaging a midwife.
How a midwife can support new parents during pregnancy
During pregnancy, a midwife acts as a couple’s companion and friend, especially for the birthing partner. This partnership can be extremely valuable, not just for the mum, but also the partner so that they too feel supported in their experience of labour and birth. The relationship built with your midwife is something that you may also choose to continue as you grow your family in the future.
Benefits of a midwife during the labour and birth
The benefits of midwifery care cover a multitude of experiences for any mother, her partner, their families and their special baby that is about to enter their world. Key to this are the emotional and physical support during labour which a midwife can provide, as well as being a great source of information for new parents.
- The main role of a midwife is to be the advocate for the mother and her birthing partner. As part of this role, your midwife will help explain how pregnancy affects your body, how important diet, rest, exercise, and preparation for parenthood is.
- As your midwife leads you through labour, they can help you understand the process you’ll be experiencing including the what, why and where you are on your journey to birth. This education can assist in your experience so that you’re aware of your options. You midwife can answer questions like:
- Will you be induced?
- What are the possible complications?
- Should you allow other medical or midwifery staff into the room?
- Do you want other extended family present?
- How are you able to achieve all you have identified in your birth plan?
Your midwife will have been through this process many times, which is why they will be invaluable in leading you through this wonderful journey of parenthood, one which is like no other experience in your life.
A midwife’s role once your baby is born
The relationship you have with your midwife can continue once your baby is born. They can support you with any questions you may have around mum and baby bonding, breastfeeding, nutritional options, bathing, dressing, settling techniques, and settling into life as new parents once you leave the hospital.
Your labour and birthing experience, and how long you stay in hospital post-birth, help determine how long your midwife stays in touch with you during the important post-natal period. Generally, this can be anywhere up to ten days.
The direction and assistance you’ll receive from your midwife is invaluable. Many couples refer to their midwives as part of their family, having been a truly special part of their pregnancy and birthing experience.
Personally, as a midwife, the most rewarding part for me is the wonderful relationship that I experience with parents. This is still what makes me proud to be a midwife, to experience this rewarding part of ‘midwifery care’ which continues to be a privilege for myself and other midwives to care for families in their experience of pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
The Australian College of Midwives has a long-standing reputation for its commitment and care of women and babies and recently officially endorsed the Cetaphil Baby Range. One of the many ways that the Australian College of Midwives helps new parents is by providing information around what is best for their little ones. This endorsement demonstrates confidence in the Cetaphil Baby Range as a trustworthy product range for parents.
Did you have a midwife during your pregnancy? Tell us in the comments below.