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The role of a midwife in pregnancy, birth and beyond

When you’re expecting a baby, you’re usually confident that you will be taken care of by medical professionals through your pregnancy and into labour, birth and beyond.

More often than not, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (OGs) are the medical experts who come to mind when talking about pregnancy care and childbirth.

But did you know there is another category of health professionals who are also specialists when it comes to caring for pregnant women, and delivering and looking after babies?

These professionals are midwives, and they play a crucial role in many maternity wards and delivery rooms in hospitals around Singapore.

Mount Elizabeth novena hospital

A midwife can play a crucial role in a woman’s pregnancy, birth and beyond.

“Pregnancy and birth are normal life events”

The midwives model of care is based on the belief and understanding that pregnancy and birth are normal life events.

According to JP Rooks (1999), this model works to the advantage of pregnant women as it avoids unnecessary medical interventions during labour.

Having said this, midwives are also trained to recognize when a woman in labour needs medical help and, as such, get the appropriate help promptly.

For the mums-to-be and new mums who would like to learn more about midwives and the role they play in pregnancy, birth and beyond, here’s some great information on this topic from Nurse Manager Adeline Kooh from Mount Elizabeth Hospital Novena.

Ms Kooh is a trained midwife  with more than 20 years of experience.

Who is a midwife?

A midwife is a health professional who has specialised training in supporting women through labour and the delivery of their babies. Midwives are also trained in post-delivery care and support.

In Singapore, midwives must possess a licence from the Singapore Nursing Board (SNB).

Mount Elizabeth novena hospital

A midwife can help you have a smooth labour.

 What’s the role of a midwife during a woman’s pregnancy and newborn care?

During pregnancy, a midwife offers emotional support and education to pregnant women, their partners and, sometimes, other family members too.

Midwives are also specially trained in newborn care and breastfeeding support.

For example, if you are having issues breastfeeding your newborn, a midwife can guide you on proper latching techniques and even on how to hold your baby in a way that will best facilitate nursing.

Midwives can also show you how to bathe your baby for the first time, change her diaper, care for her umbilical stump, etc. A midwife is also trained to recognize certain health issues that a newborn may have, e.g., jaundice, and refer the baby for more specialized care if needed.

More on the next page…

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