Why are midwives that important? This is a question often raised by many. Midwifery is such a necessity though often underestimated. As many higher level students major in other professions, midwifery is one profession that suffers lack.
Evidently, in Rwanda, midwives are still few. “More midwives are needed in Rwanda. Birth is a field that leaves out no one. It’s important that midwives are at least a quarter of the number of expecting mothers,” said Mediatrice Mukamazimpaka, a Midwife with 25 years of experience, working at Croix Sud Hospital, Kigali.
Apart from not taking Midwifery as priority, the profession is also surrounded with underrating myths. Some count midwifery as a dirty job while others think it’s a less paying job. Meanwhile, midwives continue to bless the world in many aspects. Here is why midwives are important.
Midwives are health care professionals who offer care to childbearing women during pregnancy, labour and birth. Without midwives, these three aspects would be next to impossible.
To ensure safe birth, a pregnant woman checks with a midwife for at least four times. These tests are done to monitor the baby’s health, weight, diseases that a mother could transmit to her unborn child.
“The tests contribute a lot to safe birth. For example, at the last test, we monitor the baby’s position, if birth will be natural or caesarian,” says Mukamazimpaka.
Labour is yet another important step. In the labour ward, midwives monitor the labour pains. There is a technical way; they invoke contractions, in case of delayed labour pains.
And after the contractions, there comes real birth. On identifying the last contractions, as they encourage the woman to Push, Midwives prepare for the baby’s reception.
Activities related to baby reception are as important as birth itself; they involve separating baby placenta from mother, tying the baby’s umbilical code as well as ensuring that the baby is alive.
In order to implement safe births, maternity services like sensitizing pregnant women to go for testing, immunization of both infant and mother, preventing mother-child transmission of diseases, are all done by midwives.
Midwives are not only women; even men doing maternity work are referred to as midwives. These people who are often disregarded have played a big role into fighting infant mortality, killer disease transmission at birth, for instance tetanus, mother-child disease transmission and other dangers related to child birth.
Without midwives, birth would be one of the worst experiences for mothers.