Role of Midwives Homework Home

Who is a Midwife?

A midwife is a healthcare provider who offers health care services to women. Some of the healthcare services offered by midwives include gynecological examinations, labor, and delivery care, and contraceptive prescription and counseling.

Role of Midwives Homework Home

Role of Midwives Homework Home

Midwives provide specialized professional help to women during labor, delivery, and after birth. The role of midwives cannot be ignored. In traditional times, midwives were the traditional nurses who went for extra studies and training.

In the modern-day, however, for a person to qualify as a midwife, they will need to attend a university degree for three years. They don’t need to have studied nursing before.

Practicing midwives across the globe even those in private practice should register with the registration body in their country. Midwives with extra qualifications are allowed to practice privately and prescribe certain medications.

Both men and women can train and work as midwives. However, for obvious reasons, most midwives are women. Midwives can be divided into two categories as follows:

  • Community midwives – community midwives are the midwives who work in teams. They work to work continued care. Community midwives may go to visit pregnant women who cannot make it to the clinic at their homes. In addition, they help pregnant women give birth at home. They can also help mothers who make it to the clinic deliver their babies.

Once the baby is born, community midwives visit the mothers at home for 10 days. They offer postnatal care to women who gave birth in the hospital after they have been taken care of by hospital midwives.

  • Hospital midwives – hospital midwives are midwives who are based at hospitals either in the consultant or obstetric unit. In addition, they can also be found at the labor ward, birth center or midwife-led unit, postnatal wards, and antenatal clinic.

Important skills for Midwives

Key skills for midwives include:

  • flexibility and adaptability
  • caring and patient
  • ability to deal with emotionally charged situations
  • ability to follow instructions and procedures
  • strong observational skills
  • exceptional team working skills
  • an interest in the process of pregnancy and birth
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • ability to work and communicate effectively with people from various backgrounds

Responsibilities and Duties of Midwives

Some of the important duties and responsibilities of midwives include:

  • offering antenatal care in hospitals, GP practices, and at homes
  • performing screening tests
  • examining and monitoring pregnant women
  • caring for and assisting women in labor
  • taking patient samples, pulses, temperatures, and blood pressures
  • providing emotional support, information, and reassurance to women and their partners
  • monitoring the fetus during labor
  • assessing care requirements and writing care plans
  • writing records
  • monitoring and administering medication, injections, and intravenous infusions during labor
  • identifying high-risk pregnancies
  • tutoring student midwives
  • advising mothers and supporting parents in the daily care of their newborn babies
  • helping parents to cope with situations such as miscarriage, stillbirth, termination, and neonatal death.

Midwives play important roles such as:

  1. Coordinator – midwives play an important role in coordinating and organizing care for all women. As a coordinator, a midwife should ensure pregnant women receive voluntary, holistic, and social services according to their birth experience.
  2. Caregiver – the primary role of midwives is to provide antenatal and postnatal care to women to help them remain in good health during and after pregnancy, detect any problems early enough. Should there be complications, midwives should manage them or refer them accordingly.
  3. Communicator – as a communicator, the midwife must understand the need for effective communication. Effective communication helps to build trust in the relationship between the midwife, the pregnant mother, and their family members.
  4. Leader – as a leader, a midwife should plan, review and provide women’s care. They should follow up and be part of the process right from antenatal assessments to the postnatal period. When a midwife plays their leadership role effectively, they reduce the chances of the mother being readmitted to the hospital which results in less intervention during birth meaning the mother gives birth smoothly.
  5. Educator – as an educator, a midwife should offer high-quality health education that is sensitive to culture to promote positive parenting and helpful family life.
  6. Manager – midwives manage several situations when necessary. They are authorized to recognize and refer women to the obstetrician or any other specialist when necessary.
  7. Family planner – midwives advise women and their partners as family planners. They give information on various family planning methods.
  8. Adviser – midwives play an important role in advising mothers when developing a birth plan. They also prepare mothers for birth,
  9. Supervisor – midwives supervise and assist mothers when they attend antenatal clinics. They monitor the fetus to identify early signs of impending complications.
  10. Counselor – the midwife must counsel pregnant women on matters such as hygiene, self-care, nutrition, breastfeeding, and other signs of danger during pregnancy and birth.
  11. Recordkeeper – in midwifery practice, recordkeeping is an important element. By keeping records, midwives ensure there is continuity of acre which makes it very easy to identify problems early enough.

Qualifications of a Midwife

Midwives can gain qualifications in two ways. These are by completing a 3-year bachelor’s degree in nursing and specializing in midwifery. Alternatively, one can complete a bachelor of midwifery or a bachelor of nursing or a bachelor of midwifery double degree.

Where Do Midwives Work?

Midwives work in different settings such as birth centers, hospital maternities, community health centers, private homes, midwifery group practices, and obstetricians’ consulting rooms. Depending on how and where you choose to give birth, you can always find a midwife.

People who live in rural areas have limited choices of where to give birth. For such women, they access the services of a midwife at a local community health center. Alternatively, they can choose to travel to a hospital to give birth and still access the services of a midwife.

Midwives can also be found at private clinics and are also allowed to operate their private clinics. A majority of midwives are registered as medical care providers.

Role of Midwives During Pregnancy

Most of the care given during antenatal clinics is offered by the midwife, especially for women who are planning on giving birth at a public facility. Midwives may also accompany obstetricians when attending to a pregnant woman during the antenatal clinic. There is a high chance that a particular midwife sticks to a particular patient throughout the pregnancy.

The midwife will do the following:

  • give advice and support
  • check the health of the baby, their position, and growth
  • help the mother prepare for labor and birth
  • help with hospital bookings and routine tests and checks

Role of the Midwife During Labour and Birth

Midwives support mothers during labor and birth by:

  • monitoring the heartbeat of the baby and other crucial signs
  • giving the mother information, emotional support and encouraging them
  • offering mothers pain relief or arranging for a doctor to do so
  • monitoring the progress of the mother and suggesting strategies that can help with the labor.
  • getting extra medical help if need be

For mothers who choose to give birth at a public health facility and have no birth complications, the midwife will assist them with labor and during birth. In case any complication arises; the midwife can then call the obstetrician. It is possible to have different midwives during the whole labor.

For those who choose to give birth at a private health facility, the work of the midwife is to monitor the progress of the woman in labor and call the obstetrician when it is time to deliver the baby.

For others who choose to give birth at home, the midwife will take them through labor and help them deliver. If any complications arise, the midwife will call an ambulance to take the mother to the hospital to get the required medical intervention. It is important to note that midwives cannot give epidurals as they can only be given by an anesthetist and in a hospital.

Role of Midwife After the Baby is Born

After the baby has been born, the midwife must care for both the mother and the newborn baby. The midwife should check if the mother has lost too much blood or if they need stitching. Examples of postnatal care given by midwives include:

  • administering medicines to relieve pain when needed
  • helping the mother with breastfeeding and settling the baby
  • carrying out routine health checks such as screening the newborn
  • showing the mother how to bathe the baby and change their nappies.

Some midwives may choose to visit the mother after she has been discharged from the hospital. Mothers who give birth at home can expect the midwife to visit them daily for a couple of days.

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