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Midwives: Bringing Life into the World

As we look at a lot of things post-mortem, it's important to remember and recognise those who brought us all into the world, to begin with!

Midwifery became legally recognised in Britain in 1902 with the first Midwives Act.

Despite this, there continued to be a large proportion of women who were supported by midwives who had not been formally trained.

A midwife is a trained health professional who helps healthy women during labour, delivery, and after the birth of their babies.

Midwives may deliver babies at birthing centres or at home, but most can also deliver babies at a hospital. Women who choose them have had no complications during their pregnancy.

Midwifery is a protected function in the UK, meaning it's a criminal offence for any person other than a registered midwife, or a registered medical practitioner, to attend on a woman in childbirth (except in emergencies or when in training as a student midwife or medical student). It's also a criminal offence for someone to falsely represent themselves as being on our register and use the protected title of ‘Midwife’, or falsely represent themselves as possessing midwifery qualifications.

What Does Your Midwife Do?

Like a doctor, your midwife can provide care before, during, or after your pregnancy. Your midwife will:

  • Provide family planning and preconception care

  • Do prenatal exams and order tests

  • Watch your physical and psychological well-being

  • Help you make your birth plans

  • Advise you about diet, exercise, meds, and staying healthy

  • Educate and counsel you about pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care

  • Provide you with emotional and practical support during labour

  • Deliver your baby

  • Make referrals to doctors when needed

Midwifery is a whole lot more than just supporting women to give birth.

It’s the professional care of women – before, during, and after the birth of their child. Midwifery has been an honoured and important profession for thousands of years.

Unfortunately, sometimes there are complications involved with pregnancy and birth, resulting in stillbirth and the death of a baby after birth. Long-time midwives experience family distress and grief multiple times over a career. These experiences are often amplified by their closeness with mums and families

Midwifery is a global profession. Childbearing women, newborn infants, and families share similar needs wherever they live and midwives make a vital contribution to their survival, health and well- being across the world. The World Health Organisation has stated that ‘strengthening midwifery education is a key step to improving quality of care and reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity’.

Join us in celebrating the greatness of all midwives, and the amazing work they do.

The Post Mortem Live coming to a town near you soon!


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