Best Start Honoring Midwives

How fitting is it that the World Health Organization titled 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife? This designation was set before we knew the COVID-19 pandemic would be occurring and long before we knew the magnitude of the role midwives would play.

The spread of COVID-19 has more pregnant people considering out-of-hospital births, making midwives busier than ever. People are turning to midwives to help, even if their birth plans did not include out-of-hospital care pre-COVID-19.

These times are simply unprecedented. Businesses are closed, masks are mandated, social distancing is encouraged, but no matter what, babies will be born. Births aren’t put on pause.

To our midwives: thank you for working through a pandemic, but it’s so much more than that. We thank you for the sense of normalcy you’re providing in a time full of uncertainty. You are undoubtedly “essential.”

Beneath your masks, you greet moms-to-be with the same warm smiles you wore far before the pandemic began. You embrace them and the life they are growing with comfort so meaningful that six feet of distance almost feels eliminated. The support you offer is unmatched.

You help them remember that giving birth does not need to be a medicalized event, so they can avoid the hospitals that are so full of sickness and fear right now. You stand by the notion that birth is a normal event until proven otherwise. You help them feel confident.

You remind them that while everyday life doesn’t feel normal right now, birth is still a normal physiological process. This much stands true. You remind them of their innate strength and empower them to do what their bodies are designed to do. Now more than ever, that reminder brings great peace.

You remain committed to the idea that all pregnant people should have the opportunity to have the birth experience they desire—no matter what. Babies don’t stop for a pandemic and either do the amazing midwives that help bring them Earthside.