I asked my colleague Nina, who is a midwife in training, to write something about her view on birth and the struggle society has to face even before and after giving birth. This will be the first one of some guest articles for our blog.
Why do become a midwife nowadays? They are needed, that is for sure. The requirements are currently overwhelming, the hurdles as well as the prospects, well.... ;) For me, it was still the right thing to do and I have to say: the more you dig in to the topic, the clearer it becomes – the shortage of midwives doesn’t only result in a demotion for my future profession, it results in a disadvantage for all of us, the ones that are, have or want a family. Anyone who wishes for an integral and extensive care during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period and also wants to freely choose the place of their childs birth, has to be fast. For many, this is an extreme demand in a situation that actually requires security and structure and, above all, time for familiarization.
However, what I have witnessed: What is missing in humanity in our current health system, many midwives try to make up with by personal dedication. I try to take this example to heart, but you also notice that it is very hard for many midwives tilting such a big windmill. Midwifery doesn’t end in childbirth, but it has been the linchpin in my decision-making in becoming a midwive. Birth chances everything, that’s a known law. So what resonates when you get the trust of the family at this important stage in their life is not only the responsibility for a smooth process, but the responsibility to prioritize intimacy and trust about the current situation. Personally, I am at the beginning and can only begin to realize how valuable it is to help women to feel strong. But I also realize that a self-determend birth is an incredibly high value that has been severely threatened in recent years.
I am sorry to see in which situation young families often find themselves nowadays. The birth rate is rising and that's a nice thing – but the costs of birth and insurance are rising too… I think most of you know about the problem. Midwives have been trying for years to give their rights and the right of women a voice. It is difficult, but I want to be hopeful. Because in my (our) generation, I can observe the desire and the pursuit of mutual improvement and the urge to be informed in many areas. Let it be that, or the fact that the trust and gratitude that you receive as a midwife (without trying to sound too romantic) is indeed worth every effort. It is clear that things can be different. That’s something you can witness in smaller birth centers or in many of the heavily congested clinic midwives, who despite the hurdles and the enormous burden give all they have for a dignified, self-determined birth. I think that's a very important thing – pointing out the shortcomings is crucial, but being hopeful is as well. I can only recommend to all expecting parents, inform yourself. Find out about your rights: the right to choose the place of birth, to 1: 1 care, to a respectful, non-violent and self-determined birth. In my opinion, it always pays out to stand up for what one recognizes as his right. I am determined and I hope to have many like-minded people by my side – for the profession and for expectant / growing families.