Midwives are health care professionals--often women--who are skilled in assisting expectant mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. Midwifery supports normal childbirth and offers a different, holistic kind of care for women. Most midwifery practices follow the same basic principles.
Midwives are able to provide gynaecological care, prenatal check ups and education, and support throughout labour and delivery. Midwifery also focuses on the emotional and psychological welfare of the mother, and not just the physical aspect of childbirth.
Midwives provide supportive partnerships for expectant mothers throughout pregnancy. A midwife shares her knowledge and experience with women to help them empower themselves.
Midwives provide expectant mothers with appropriate information and support the woman's right to make informed decisions about her own care.
Midwives have a responsibility to maintain appropriate education and skills to provide a safe environment for childbearing women. Additionally, a midwife will refer the expectant mother to another professional if an issue surpasses the midwife's education and skill set.
In the practice of midwifery, labour and birth progress in different ways for different women. Often, the process of childbirth can proceed naturally without much interference.