Many people see midwives as people who are hired, often by wealthy women, to facilitate a crunchy, natural and trendy childbirth experience. The truth about midwives is much deeper and more significant than that. The tradition of having another woman nearby for support, advice and physical help throughout pregnancy, labor and early parenthood is something that many cultures have relied on since ancient times, and midwives have been helping women give birth long before people began having babies in hospitals. Even today midwives are a valuable part of pregnancy and often truly play a role in helping mothers and babies be as healthy and happy as possible. Here are some situations in which midwives provide a vital service.
Inner City Communities in the United States
Women living in the inner cities of large communities are often at a disadvantage when it comes to prenatal care. Women in the lowest income groups face many barriers when it comes to getting adequate advice, testing and support during pregnancy.
- These women often lack health insurance and are unable to pay for their medical care.
- They may not have transportation to medical centers and hospitals.
- They may be at a high risk for drug abuse and disease.
- They may not trust traditional medical caregivers.
- They may fear that a hospital or doctor will take their babies away.
Midwives are important to lower income communities in the inner city because they offer an alternative to traditional medical care. Unlike doctors, midwives have the freedom to go into these communities and see women in their homes or in neighborhood clinics. They are trained to empower women during pregnancy and to help mothers to be understand their options when it comes to childbirth. Gaining trust is an essential step in convincing women to seek prenatal care.
Rural Communities in the United States
Women living in rural communities in the United States are often removed from places with medical centers and hospitals. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that women living in rural areas are often poor, have no health insurance and face traveling long distances to get to specialty medical care such as obstetrics. This makes it very difficult for them to get prenatal care and to access hospitals with obstetric specialists.
Midwifery clinics can bring prenatal care to those in rural communities. Midwives are also there to help with rural births when travel to a hospital is just not practical, and they can serve as a support to women during the first weeks of parenthood when those mothers would otherwise be alone.
Third World Countries
Midwives are the only prenatal care and delivery help available in many third world countries where doctors and hospitals are scarce. In many of these countries, women have been helping each other give birth for centuries. The World Health Organization states that trained midwives are needed in these poor countries where women often give birth without any medical assistance at all and where conditions are not conducive to sanitary or safe births.
Unfortunately, many babies and mothers needlessly die during the childbirth process because of poor health care and lack of trained medical help. Trained midwives are being sent into these countries to fight the poverty and poor conditions that cause babies to be born without a chance to succeed. Because midwives typically focus on natural childbirth, they are easily able to adapt to working without modern conveniences and medical equipment.
Midwives are more than just people who are hired to facilitate a home birth. They are brave, forward thinking women who fight for babies and mothers throughout the world. Their work truly saves lives and gives children a chance to be healthy and happy. For more information about midwifery, visit websites like http://www.whallc.com.Share