Every year, May 5th is International Day of the Midwife. Every day at Mandala Midwifery Care is Midwife’s Day!
I often get asked why I am a midwife. Why did I endure the long and sometimes grueling training? How do I manage those days that seemed to be filled with endless charting and administrative tasks? Why do I put up with odd and often long hours? (An uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep is a thing?)
In short, I am a midwife because I was called to do it. I ignored that call over and over again for years, but your life’s calling has a way of continually ringing until you finally pick up and answer. It is a part of who I am and denying it is like denying a part of myself.
I am a midwife because I believe caring for women is so important in the world today. Global studies show that societies do better when women do better. Women’s health care in the United States has some major deficiencies and I am driven to changing that, one woman and one family at a time.
I am a midwife because birthing people and babies deserve respectful, loving and gentle care during pregnancy and birth. It is so sad and infuriating to me that the terms “birth violence” and “birth rape” actually exist. Pregnancy and birth are a miraculous and vulnerable time and everyone involved deserves to be nurtured and supported with compassion.
Speaking of miracles, I am a midwife because birth is an amazing miracle every single time. Every. Single. Time.
I am a midwife because I believe everyone deserves competent, respectful sexual and reproductive care that honors who they are. Care for LGBTQ people, people of color, and other marginalized groups needs to be brought to the forefront as the many benefits of the midwifery model of care can have a powerful impact for these communities.
I am a midwife because babies deserve gentle, evidence-based care from their very first moments.
I am a midwife because helping people become parents and grow their families is a tremendous privilege and I am in awe of the trust that is placed in me every day. I feel that I get back more from families than I give them and I am so grateful for all that I learn from each and every client.
I am a midwife because what that means and looks like is an evolution and a process. The midwife I was when my preceptors “launched” me as a new midwife four+ years ago is not the midwife I have grown to become today. I am so blessed to be continually learning and growing and evolving into the traditional midwife my clients need.
So why do I put up with all the inconveniences? Simply, because I am a midwife.
Happy International Day of the Midwife to all my colleagues out there and a special shout out to the amazing mentor midwives that I had/have the honor of learning from over the years!
Janine Stiles, CPM