3 things you never knew a midwife can do: 'We wear many hats!'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·2-min read

Welcoming newborn babies into the world is a big part of a midwife's job, but, as Elizabeth from the Australian College of Midwives tells Yahoo Lifestyle, it's not the only part.

"When I tell someone that I'm a midwife, the first thing they say is, 'It must be lovely seeing babies being born every day,' but there is so much more to what we do," she says.

Newborn baby wrapped in a white blanket held by a nurse wearing blue scrubs
Midwives perform many different roles before, during and after childbirth. Photo: Getty Images.

Midwives are a great source of knowledge when it comes to newborn babies and helping parents boost their confidence before, during and after childbirth.

To mark the Australian College of Midwives' recent endorsement of the Cetaphil Baby Range, Elizabeth has shared three surprising things you might not know about midwives.

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Midwives don’t just 'catch babies'

Midwives do far more than just catch babies. The impact midwives have is not just on pregnancy outcomes, but extends to newborn care, breastfeeding, family planning and sometimes also cervical and breast cancer screening.

Pregnant Woman Being Examined At Home By a female Midwife
Midwives also work outside of hospitals and can visit pregnant women at home. Photo: Getty Images.

We also run antenatal classes that teach expectant parents everything they will need to know to look after their new baby. The main things that your midwife will talk you through are:

  • How to prepare for labour

  • The signs of labour and when to call the hospital

  • The different stages of labour

  • Different birthing positions

  • Relaxation and birthing techniques

  • Early parenting

  • Breastfeeding

  • Newborn baby behaviour

  • Recommended products to use with your baby

Midwives perform many different roles

Midwives can work in many different areas of maternity. Some midwives work in the postnatal ward looking after mum and baby while others work in the community, once mum and baby have left on the early discharge program. 

Midwives also work alongside obstetricians in their private clinics providing antenatal and postnatal care. There are also midwifery educators who look after the upcoming midwifery students and ensuring staff are up to date with their mandatory training. We wear so many hats! 

Midwives can assist with preconception planning 

Some midwives have been trained in family planning, meaning they can assist with preconception planning. 

Some studies have shown that working with a midwife can help increase your chances of conception. They can assist by educating you and your partner about your making lifestyle changes to increase fertility, or helping you better understand your ovulation cycle.

Midwives can also offer counselling. Simply talking with someone knowledgeable can make all the difference. Trying to conceive is stressful enough, so getting a fresh and informed perspective can be helpful.

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