What does Midwifery mean to you?
In honour of International Day of the Midwife (5 May), we asked this question to students and staff — let their answers inspire you to think differently about Midwifery.
Jacqueline Hermann, Bachelor of Midwifery
To me, Midwifery means informed choices and advocacy. For me, these words embody so many aspects of midwifery. Informed choice requires education of the midwife, including researching and understanding current evidence-based practices, applying this to the clinical situation that is presented and advising the women in our care of the recommended course of action and alternatives that might be available.
This education of the woman allows her to make a decision or “informed choice” about the care she receives during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Understanding a woman’s choices and wishes allows us as midwives (and midwifery students) to be her voice at times when she may not be able to express her desires.
Christine Catling, Director, Midwifery Studies
To me, midwifery means working in partnership and advocating for women, and ensuring they achieve the best possible outcomes for pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period.
Great midwives work with compassion and empathy in collaboration with their colleagues in a way that frames the woman as being the centre of their care.
Loretta Musgrave, Lecturer, Midwifery
To me, Midwifery means being completely present for the woman and her family. Holding the space and time, empowering women to trust their bodies and follow their own intuition are all important parts of midwifery care.
Midwifery is not just about knowledge, clinical skills and ‘catching babies’; it is so much more. Midwives change lives through witnessing and validating a woman’s right to birth her way and on her own terms.
Amy Brindley, Bachelor of Midwifery
To me, Midwifery means woman supporting woman! I envisage a supportive, secure and trusting environment when I picture my career in midwifery. I want women to feel as though they can be respected and that they can also build rapport with their midwife, as well as confide in them in their most vulnerable states.
It is so important to support one another throughout these encounters, whether that be as patients, colleagues or friends – it’s all about sticking together! I hope to give my all for each woman I care for and gain the trust of those who need it the most.
Josephine Steel, Bachelor of Midwifery
To me, Midwifery means holding the space for women. This space is warm, inviting, and safe. It has a platform on which women stand to claim their power and a megaphone to amplify their voice.
It places women at the centre of their journey through pregnancy, birth and early motherhood.
Allison Cummins, Senior Lecturer, Midwifery
To me, Midwifery means being with a woman and her family during one of the most important times in her life, that of becoming a mother. It is an absolute privilege to be walking alongside a woman while she is pregnant, being present to support her during the birth of her baby and watching her transform into being the best mother she can be.
Midwifery is a very special profession that I am very proud to be part of, especially watching our students learn and grow into professional midwives.
Sarah O’Donoghue, Bachelor of Midwifery
To me Midwifery means, ‘holding the space’. Holding space refers to the midwife’s role to walk with the mother along the path of pregnancy, birth and motherhood without judgment. It is offering woman-centred support – providing information as the woman requires it and encouraging her to trust her intuition.
It is reading the woman’s birth plan and being very conscious that you have been entrusted with her hopes and dreams in one hand, and you must balance these with your midwifery knowledge. Ultimately, we must ‘hold space’ for all of our women as the gatekeeper between worlds and ensure that after the birth, the woman can triumphantly say, ‘I did it’.