Giving birth: the importance of the role of the midwife

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Giving birth: the importance of the role of the midwife
Giving birth: the importance of the role of the midwife

With the growing popularity of birth centers in recent years, the importance of the role of the midwife has made a comeback in our society. But do we really know what it's all about?


To demystify it all, I spoke with Aurélie Pestel, midwife who complements her practice with homeopathy and mother of four children!

Madame Pestel, what is a midwife, how do you become a midwife and what is your role exactly?

The midwife is a he alth professional trained to be fully responsible for care and services during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period for the mother and newborn, until 'at 6 weeks after birth.1

In Quebec, training consists of a baccalaureate program. This four-year program is offered exclusively at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) 2. Midwives from abroad who want to practice in Quebec must follow a refresher program also offered at UQTR. Of course, all midwives wishing to practice their profession in Quebec mustbe part of the Order of Midwives of Quebec3.

Still little known, the midwifery service is part of the public he alth system. Any woman whose pregnancy is said to be low risk and who holds a valid he alth insurance card can benefit from it free of charge!

In our practice, we do all the prenatal follow-up and childbirth of course, but also postnatal follow-up for mom and baby during the first six weeks. During this period, we are available at all times to answer all questions from mothers, to make sure that everything is back in place in their body and that baby is growing well and he althy. Breastfeeding support is also offered if needed. After these six weeks, we pass the baton to a pediatrician or family doctor for the rest of things."

How long have you been in this profession and why did you choose it?

"I have been practicing midwifery for three years now. As I immigrated to Quebec from France, I then held a diploma that was not recognized here. I've been around a lot in the community and he alth sectors. I've always liked being close to people and being able to help them, so it seemed to me the perfect profession!"


Aurélie Pestel Midwife, Homeopathy Therapist and birth attendant [email protected]

What kind of follow-up can apregnant woman choosing a midwife?

As far as pregnancy follow-up is concerned, we perform the same medical procedures as gynecologists and we practice the principle of informed choice in women with pregnancies with little risk of complications (see your midwife). women for the limits of practice.) Unlike the hospital, where there are many medical teams, we always operate in teams of two or three, which means that expectant mothers get to know all the workers well during the of their pregnancy who will be present during their delivery. What's more, as we follow only a few clients at a time, we really take all the time necessary to answer all the questions during each visit (our appointments last on average 30 to 45 minutes). During childbirth, there are always two midwives present; the first takes care of the mother and the second arrives during the push to take care ofthe baby. They will then stay every two to three hours more with the mother to make sure that she recovers properly and that baby adapts well.

Then we perform postnatal follow-up for mom and baby up to six weeks."

Mothers-to-be are often worried about possible complications during childbirth that would require a transfer to hospital. Does it happen frequently?

Yes, it is certain that as in any field of he alth, zero risk does not exist. If a transfer is necessary, each birth center or midwifery service is linked to a reference hospital, so we transfer the care of the mother or baby to gynecologists or pediatricians quickly with whom we work in collaboration. Obviously, the clients who choose to use our services want to try to experience the most natural childbirth possible, but it sometimes happens that they cannot bear the pain and then request a transfer to a hospital to obtain, among other things, the epidural.

You should know that midwives are trained in emergency obstetric and neonatal care, and that we are therefore fully capable of stabilizing and resolving most of the major issues that can arise during midwifery. 'childbirth. We pass a certification in neonatal resuscitation every two years and another in obstetric emergencies every three years, so we are very well equipped in this regard. And then, as we only follow women whose pregnancies present little danger and pass without complications, it is rather rare that we have to carry out emergency transfers. But when this happens, we accompany our clients in the ambulance and stay with them until the handover with the gynecologist is done.

Moreover, several studies have shown that childbirth outside a hospital setting with qualified personnel and pregnant women at low risk of complications is just as safe as in a setting.hospitable."

For those who would feel more comfortable giving birth in a hospital, but would still like to use the services of a midwife, is this something to consider?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, when you use the services of a midwife, you have the choice between three places for your delivery: your own home (subject to a full assessment places), a birthing center or the hospital. If the hospital is chosen, the two midwives will carry out the delivery in the room as they would in a birthing center or at home, therefore without the intervention hospital staff and without an epidural.

What should also be understood is that the primary aim of midwives is to follow future mothers who wish to experience a natural childbirth. Of course, we know that the reality sometimes turns out to be very different from what we had imagined and we support our clients in all their decisions if they ultimately require the use of medication, but the starting objective must be to live this experience in the most natural way."

We also often hear that waiting lists in birth centers are sometimes discouraging. What is it really?

It's true that there is a growing demand for natural births and that the pool of midwives in Quebec remains limited, so yes, there are waiting lists in birthing centres.

We therefore advise women who are interested in this option to call us as soon as they obtain a first positive test."

You also complement your practice with homeopathy. What natural remedies can help pregnant women with their various ailments?

Obviously, each person is different, so there is no miracle formula that applies to everyone. Ideally, you should seek a consultation with a professional for adequate homeopathic care.

I chose to train as a homeopathy therapist because I found this approach complementary to my practice. I am French and homeopathy has always been part of my life. I am happy to be able to provide a gentle and alternative approach as far as possible to my clients for their pregnancy ailments and for their newborns. I myself use homeopathy very regularly with my family, from my oldest of 12 years to my last since birth.

I relieve colic, teething pain and small daily injuries either with granules and homeopathic creams. And I see results. The best way for a therapist to be able to advise homeopathy is to be comfortable with it, having experienced it with close family and that's what I do. Homeopathy is increasingly requested by women for themselves or their children. Sometimes they are a little hesitant, but after trying it, they go.take taste!

Homeopathy is used by many people as a complementary therapy to conventional medicine. It does not replace the use of medication (if necessary), but it can be useful in relieving common pregnancy disorders, promoting well-being and supporting labor during childbirth and birth.

Pregnancy is a period during which it is generally preferable to limit the use of conventional medications, especially since many are contraindicated in pregnant women. Homeopathy can be an interesting alternative for the relief of nausea, vomiting, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and sleep disorders.

For preparation for childbirth, there are several homeopathic medicines that can be suggested. Some can act on the cervix, others on the uterus or on the stress of childbirth.

In view of childbirth, some protocols can start from 38 weeks. When homeopathic medicines are taken as suggested, I really see a difference in childbirth.

Thereafter, the ailments of newborns and children can also be relieved, without constraints, with homeopathy.

There are also several other ways to manage pain during childbirth without resorting to medication. I am thinking, among other things, of hydrotherapy (hot water bath), massage techniques with various essential oils,visualization, self-hypnosis, yoga and relaxation. It is up to each woman to make use of the tools or therapy that suits her the most."

If you had one wellness tip for pregnant women, what would it be?

"Listening to yourself. The most important thing in this whole great adventure is to team up with your body and always stay in touch with yourself. By listening to your body from the start, you Avoid a lot of bad surprises!"


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