Midwifery is a broad term that means so many things, in so many types of practices around the world. Midwives can have very different training backgrounds and work in very different settings — from women’s homes, to huge hospitals.
But the classic midwifery model of care is all rooted in the same belief that childbirth is a partnership between a woman and her provider, and that watchful waiting can be as important as intervening when complications arise. Sometimes that means helping a woman have a vaginal birth with no pain medication if that is what she wants; other times it means holding a mother’s hand while she undergoes a C-section with an OB-GYN.
“You can see this midwife’s birth supplies in the background, but her tools were down for this moment. Here, her focus was providing physical and emotional support.”
“After a last-minute switch in birth plans, from home birth to hospital, due to high blood pressure, this midwife made the catch of her life — her first grandchild!”
“So much joy for this mama as she realized that she was going to be raising three boys. She birthed her baby at home in the presence of two midwives who are truly like family — they have supported her through two of her three deliveries.”
“This midwife is guiding this first-time mother through the last bit of transition. She met her baby less than an hour later.”
“This midwife helping this mother breastfeed newborn twins, between the tangle of wires and tiny legs.”
“This baby was breach even after hard work trying to get him to turn. She risked out of the birth center where she’d hope to deliver, but still had her midwife as part of her team. She accompanied her into the OR.”
“This first-time mom couldn’t have been more proud to meet her baby. The hospital midwife knew this moment would mean so much to them, so she made sure they were able to take a good long look into their baby’s face.”
“This mother was told she wouldn’t have anymore children after treatment for breast cancer and surprised everyone with her miracle baby. She told me: ‘[My midwife] was an amazing support during my miracle baby’s arrival…she always knew just what I needed to get through the next step of my labor process.'”
“Here, the midwife is working to encourage the baby to move out of the posterior position while the mom labors through transition.”
“This mother had planned on a home birth, but opted to be induced at a hospital because of medical issues that developed during the pregnancy. Her home birth midwife and the hospital midwife, who were both at her bedside during her labor, worked together beautifully to support her.”
“Here, this midwife is helping her client get a good first latch. This mother had to be transferred in to the hospital from her home birth because her labor was stalling, but her midwife never left her side. This image was taken after they’d been together through 30 hours of labor.”