By Marjani Jean-Philippe, MSN, CNM
As far back as I can remember I have always been a nurturer, caring deeply for people and their well-being. My ability to nurture became heightened when in the presence of pregnant women and babies, revealing to me early on where my affinity truly lied. I can remember being a young girl caring for my baby cousins and rubbing my aunties pregnant belly, knowing intuitively that I was shifting the energy in that scared space. Nurse midwifery has always been my heart’s desire and is amongst my greatest accomplishments.
Traditional Midwifery and Women’s Care
Anthropologists and archeologists believe women to be the Earth’s first healers. Intuitively recognizing, diagnosing, minimizing and relieving suffering. Amidst those healers emerged traditional midwives, who were women tasked with providing basic healthcare, support and advice during and after pregnancy and childbirth. In my native tongue, Haitian Creole, midwives are referred to as “famn saj,” which translates to wise woman. Midwives were held in high regard for their collection of knowledge, insight, good sense and judgment.
Midwifery has moved into modernity with the structuring of education and specific standards. The introduction of new obstetric knowledge, including but not limited to life-saving medications and intervention, have helped to decrease the maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality rate throughout the world.
Healing Through Midwifery
When midwives combine the traditional wisdom of our ancestors with the advances of modern medicine, we are in a unique position to use our compassionate instincts and emotional intelligence to promote positive outcomes.
While midwifery has evolved over the centuries, its core objectives remain the same, empowering women through education and advocacy, facilitating choice through dialogue and motivating women to be active participants in their care.
Whether we care for the mother who is in active labor or the woman who is experiencing perinatal loss, we can continue to provide healing and hope in a way that honors her experience with grace and compassion. This is why I am a midwife!
Celebrating Women’s History Month
TeamHealth is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” which honors women on the frontline of the pandemic and women throughout history who have pioneered healing and medicine. Midwifery and other forms of care have been integral to our collective history, and we are proud to celebrate women past and present for their vital contributions to society.