Definition of Midwife from Midwifery Today
A midwife is a primary health care provider whose services are guided by the individual needs of each mother and baby. Her abilities and knowledge are the health, physiology and effective care of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
She acts in a humane, receptive and flexible manner. She is willing to update her knowledge continually while maintaining a practice of meticulous care with minimum intervention.
She acquires essential knowledge from other midwives through a variety of educational routes within a formal or traditional process, as well as by assisting with mothers and babies.
A midwife shares information with mothers, families and the community that may include her model of care, alternative health services, rights and responsibilities, wellness, preventive care, bonding, breastfeeding, child rearing and family planning.
A midwife provides care and oversees the health of women and their babies during the childbearing year and assists with birth. She may provide lifelong care to women. The midwife's practice is autonomous: she may offer her services at clinical facilities and in homes.
A midwife can identify health problems, knows techniques for managing emergency situations and has a plan to refer or transport, when necessary.
A midwife is acknowledged as a primary provider of maternal health services by the members of her community or by the country in which she practices.
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