I write this as both an expectant mother and practitioner affected by the current wording of the Midwifery Act. As a prenatal yoga teacher and BodyTalk practitioner that specializes in fetal positioning, birth preparation and induction me just having hands on contact or my health recommendations with an expectant or postpartum mother puts me liable for being charged with “practicing Midwifery”.
It is very scary and limits my ability to help the mothers that need me. This legal fight is to protect all women’s rights to choose who and how they will be supported through their births. The current act restricts that freedom.
I had my son with a wonderful uncomplicated home birth with a midwife but with the current shortage I did not get a midwife with this pregnancy. I trust in birth and my ability and have chosen to birth this new child on my own with the support of my husband and close friends/colleagues who are experienced in birth. My husband, my friends could then be charged for helping me. That is not right! It is my informed choice to make.
I greatly understand (as I work with birth trauma for both mother and baby) how the birth affects both mother and child life long and will not subject myself or my child to the medicalization process unless there is a determined need to do so.
I am fortunate there is a strong underground community of freebirth to help prepare and understand the risks but this should not have to be underground, secret and shamed. I hear stories of women who have minor issues like tearing that are then too afraid to go for stitches. This needs to change, we need to support our mothers and their choices.