MSMC: What led you to choose a midwife for your pregnancy and birth? Maria: I found my way to midwifery care when I was pregnant with my first child because I wanted a drug-free birth and felt that working with a midwife would be a way to make that outcome more likely. As I went along in my pregnancy, I grew to respect the principle of informed choice, the personal quality of the prenatal appointments, and getting to develop a connection with each of our individual midwives. That first experience and the home birth of my son was so fantastic and empowering that having midwives for my second child was a no-brainer. Midwives are truly one of the best-kept secrets in Ontario's healthcare system.
MSMC: What was the best part about being in midwifery care? Maria: I think I would probably answer this differently for each of my births. With my son, my pregnancy and birth gave me the confidence to trust my own instincts as a mother - our midwives were an active part of that. I felt truly spoiled with the level of care and attention I received. With my daughter, whom born just over six months ago, I also had a fantastic team of midwives that included an amazing student from your program. But this time around, the postpartum care was so incredibly important to me. My daughter had issues with nursing, weight gain, and both lip and tongue-ties. I owe so much of our breastfeeding successes to the multiple home visits (some that were every other day!) and the unwavering support from my midwives. Without the dedicated postpartum care, I don't think I would still be nursing my daughter.
MSMC: From a client’s perspective, is there anything that you would like midwifery students to know? Maria: This is a really tough one because my experiences with midwives have been so positive. I think one of the most important skills you can hone will be learning how to be supportive and encouraging without making a mother or family feel judged. There were so many times I felt like I hit a wall with nursing my daughter. I started second guessing my instincts with feeding her and knowing what was right for her. My midwives were there every step of the way to listen to my fears and yet somehow managed to keep encouraging me without making me feel judged or pushed in any direction.