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While hospitals are the more popular option, many women choose to go with a natural approach when it comes to giving birth. Often, this is done at the home or in a birthing center to keep the mother-to-be in comfortable surroundings.
However, giving birth is a grueling process, and there are a number of variables involved. Things can even go wrong, making the experience dangerous for the mother or the baby. That’s where a midwife comes in.
A midwife is a trained healthcare professional who comes to a woman’s house to help her throughout the birthing process. Their medical training emphasizes prenatal care, giving birth, and caring for a newborn. Many people think that a midwife’s job is done once the baby arrives, but that’s not so. In fact, there are several ways a midwife continues to help after the birth.
Teaching Baby Care
Being a new parent can be intimidating. While there are thousands of books out there and probably dozens of friends and family members all offering advice, sometimes you need more help.
You will run into a number of questions that they didn’t answer in the baby books. There are also some things that are just too difficult to teach in a book. Advice from those around you is often going to be contradictory.
However, because they are specially trained, midwives can help new parents learn how to best care for their newborn with gentle guidance. Their advice will have medical research and training behind it, so it will likely be a bit more reliable than what you might find elsewhere.
One of the things that women don’t truly understand until after they give birth is how difficult breastfeeding actually is. Many babies struggle to latch at first, or your milk may not produce as expected. The nipples will get raw and sore, even painful, and some women get disheartened if they can’t seem to figure it out right away.
Midwives will help teach a new mother how to best breastfeed their baby. They can teach you different breastfeeding positions that could help your baby get more milk. Additionally, they will have tips for how to help with the pain. This ongoing support from a midwife helps many new mothers feel more capable and confident in their attempts to breastfeed their new addition.
Being a new parent is not easy. While most people know that intellectually, you might not realize how very true it is until your baby is home. The baby will need constant attention, and there will probably still be pain and exhaustion from the birth. There is also a lot of stress, and many women experience postpartum depression. The stress and depression is normal, but not all moms realize that.
A midwife can act as emotional support for a new parent. This emotional support can help give her the strength to be the best mom possible. It can help you be more confident in your parenting and more accepting of your own struggles.
Your midwife may also have tips for your partner on how the two of you can better split parenting responsibilities to reduce stress for both of you. This can help the two of you come closer together.
Not all women want to give birth in a cold, sterile hospital room. There are sick people there, and the doctors and nurses—though certainly well-trained and caring—are rushed and dealing with dozens of other patients at the same time.
However, it’s best to have a medical professional there for you when you give birth, which is why midwives exist. However, your midwife isn’t just there for the birth. They will be a great resource after birth too to help you as you learn how to care for your new child.