General facts: A midwife is a health professional who provides primary care to an expecting mother and baby. This can be during pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period. They provide care that in more personal and intimate than if you were in a hospital and with a typical doctor. With the option of having your baby in the comfort of home, focusing on the pre-establish birth plan, and having a more natural based birth are some of the reasons why midwives are appealing to many.
Midwives general workplace is client’s home, some practitioners will also assist doctors with live birth in hospitals. Focusing in on low-risk births, midwives are not able to perform caesarean sections. If the labour becomes high risk, a midwife will be obligated to transfer the patient to a hospital. However, women who chose a home birth moved to hospital for a cesarean delivery 5.2% of the time compared to a cesarean delivery rate of 8.1% in the planned hospital group. The college of Midwives in Ontario states “Midwives believe that each woman should be able to decide where she wants to give birth.
They are required to offer a woman informed choice.This means they will take time to listen to her questions and concerns, to provide her with clear evidence?based information about the benefits and disadvantages of each choice she is considering, and to support her in her decision?making.” Medical Technologies:Emergency equipment and supplies such as suction, oxygen, intravenous fluids, tools and equipment to suture tears and medications for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage are somethings that midwives bring portable versions of. Midwives also bring medical technology such as; equipment to monitor the birthing person and baby—stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, handheld doppler and/or fetoscope, sterile instruments needed at the time of birth, sterile instruments and topical anesthetics in case suturing is required, homeopathic remedies and herbal tinctures, oxygen tank and resuscitation bag/masks for the birthing person and newborn, suction device for removing mucus and other material from the baby’s nose and mouth, IV catheters, administration sets, and IV fluids, hanging scale and sling for weighing the baby, vitamin K and erythromycin eye ointment (only given at parents’ request) various and sundry other medical equipment and supplies such as gauze, syringes, needles, flashlights, etc. Midwives tend to keep the birthing experience as natural as possible. Big breakthroughs in the technology is not very common due to the fact home births are for keeping it as traditional as it can be. Pathogens/disease: Appropriate infection prevention and control practices are a cornerstone to providing clients with high-quality care, safe care of a midwife’s patients. The following tools are aimed at empowering midwives.
A key to IPAC is breaking the cycle of transmission, which includes proper hand hygiene, instrument reprocessing (sterilization) practices, environmental cleaning, screening for infectious disease, self care, personal protective equipment, putting on (donning) techniques and taking off (doffing) techniques. The Ministry of Health relies on the association of ontario midwives to disseminate ministry information to all members during a health emergency such as an outbreak or pandemic. They monitor outbreaks and alerts midwives as soon as possible with the relevant available information to assist in the next phase of planning and implementation for a specific outbreak.Nutritional Science: When one is carrying a child, it is key to have a nutritional diet. Midwives play a role in advising and answering any questions a new mom would have about her own current diet, and her diet afterwards if she chooses to breastfeed. Dr. Tom Brewer found through more than 30 years of research that each day, pregnant women need a well-balanced, high-quality diet that includes 80 to 100 grams of protein, adequate salt, and water, as well as calories from all of the food groups.
While the general public can look to the Canadian Food guide to a good example of a well balanced meal, most pregnant women need more protein and calories in general. 2 to 3 servings of meat, fish, nuts or legumes, and tofu; 2 to 3 servings of dairy (milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese); 2 servings of green vegetables; 1 serving of a yellow vegetable; 3 servings of fruit; 3 servings of whole grain breads, cereals, or other high-complex carbohydrates;; 6 to 8 glasses of clean, filtered water each day. This can be a big adjustment period for a women’s normal diet. The best advantage of their model of care was the ability to build a relationship with the women based on trust, respect, and confidence. Woman feel comfortable talking about her dietary behaviour with the midwife and the midwife would feel comfortable approaching the woman to provide woman-centred advice.
Application section: In Ontario, the Midwifery Education Program is offered at Laurentian, McMaster and Ryerson universities. It is a four-year degree program that awards graduates a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in Midwifery. Mcmaster’s website states, “The four year program which spans nine terms, includes courses from basic sciences, social sciences, health sciences, women’s studies and electives, in addition to clinical courses. A variety of course formats include classroom, distance learning through web conferencing and print-based self-study courses. Teaching methods include lecture format, small group tutorials, self-directed activities and practical learning experiences in both laboratory and clinical practice settings.” The total for this 4 year program is a total of around $20,000. The Midwifery Education Program is very competitive and has a limited enrolment. Successful applicants usually have completed one or more years of university or have equivalent experience before applying.
An Ontario Secondary School Diploma with six Grade 12 U/M courses including: grade 12U english, biology or chemistry, one Grade 12 U or M course in Canadian World Studies or the Social Sciences and the humanities. Minimum of 70% (B- or higher) required in each subject and minimum of 70% overall average. Apply online to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre.
As a current high school student you must apply using the OUAC 101 Application form found at www.ouac.on.ca/101/index.html. . Full-time midwives earn approximately $73,000 to $95,000 a year. A midwife’s place on this scale depends on her number of years of experience in Ontario and on the number of clients.
In the News:On October 6 of 2017 BBC released an article, “The Making of a Male Midwife”. This article comes from the United Kingdom, where midwives are far more common than a doctor in a hospital. It oversees the male described as “6ft 2in tall, with the broad shoulders of a former rugby player, and unlike 99.6% of registered midwives in the UK, he was a he”. It has been 40 years since men were first allowed to train as midwives in the UK. However, they still make up a small proportion of the profession. So when a teenage boy in Birmingham said he wanted to become a midwife, he found himself swimming against the tide.
Then a question was brought up, “Is a women allowed to refuse a male midwife?”. With a lot of different responses, there was an overwhelming group of people that reassure that skill and empathy matter more than gender. Another mother stated that she had some concerns regarding a male midwife. However, she says “by the time I got to labour I couldn’t have given a flying monkey who looked ‘down there’.” The particular male midwife has now been in the field for two years. He “has cared for hundreds of women, and exactly seven have refused to be treated by him”.
He says that he does not let this bother him. “I would hate to ever put a woman in a situation where she is receiving care from me, as a male, but she is uncomfortable,” he says.BibliographyEquipment Safety. (n.d.).
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