Women have been the guardians of birth and mothering since the beginning. As the life-givers and the only people who give birth, women have assisted one another in all aspects of birthing and mothering. Midwives have helped to spin the matriarchal web of wisdom across time, assisting women in all aspects of health, fertility, birth control, birthing, healing, herbology, and mothering.
It has only been in the last century that women’s sovereignty over birth has been overtaken by physicians and institutions. I believe that childbearing information and wisdom still collectively belongs to childbearing women. I believe that only when women are rightly restored as the guardians of birth will our society and planet have a chance to heal.
I believe that every woman possesses the inner wisdom and strength to give birth in the way that suits her best. The process of giving birth at home should allow women the opportunity to birth autonomously, free from unwanted and unnecessary intervention. Traditional midwifery recognizes the inherent normalcy of birth and aims to protect it. It supports women walking their own path of normalcy. It honors that childbirth is rite of passage and that midwives should witness women through this rite of passage with dignity and love.
I believe that strong communities are vital for mother’s mental and emotional well-being. We are not meant to mother alone. Midwifery care works best when it draws upon the skills and offerings of women in the community. The web is stronger with more of us holding one another up.
I believe there is an appropriate place for medicine within childbirth. Modern obstetrics has contributed life-saving procedures and treatments to childbirth for which I am grateful. The use of obstetric technology can be used consciously, judiciously, and honorably towards helping mothers and babies survive high-risk complications of pregnancy and birth when they arise. I am also grateful for the mutually respectful collaborative relationships I have had with physicians in the past. Women and babies have the safest outcomes and most satisfying experiences when midwives and physicians work together for woman-centered, physiological birth.