Hi all. I have received a variety of comments and feedback about caseload, continuity of carer midwifery practice. Would love to hear more. So vital to share our examples. There is a lot of misconceptions and fears about this way of providing midwifery. Also if you received care from a caseload midwife and want to contribute you are welcome! Let us have a conversation. My example was previous blog…..
This is a short blog to garner a dialogue I hope. I am curious about how midwives feel the need to feel in someway “other” to colleagues in the maternity team. I have been guilty at times of feeling the need to safeguard the sanctity of midwifery from others that I perceive don’t understand. Or feel a need to protect and shelter what is precious in midwifery from those I believe will overpower my own professional position, stand, opinion and indeterminate knowing that directs my art of practice.
Yet is such positioning helpful, constructive and empowering? I am proud to stand as a midwife within my community. I live and work in a community of practice with lay as well as registered medical colleagues. I know my skill set, my scope of practice and have a knowing that stirs within me and bubbles up into action when needed. Such intuitive knowing is a wellspring of knowledge issuing forth just beyond my visual awareness; an historical and cultural embodied knowing. A knowing that brings deep awareness of how I stand on the shoulders of giants. Of a vast history. I need not be intimidated and lash out, avoid, do good by stealth, aggressively reject what I disagree with or even passionately accept what fits my present knowing – others may feel awkward in hearing my over zealous self righteousness. They perhaps have a different knowing. They may feel attacked, unacknowledged and grow uneasy around me. These encounters of difference, of divergent ideas are merely an opportunity to explore more of the complexity that is childbirth.
The knowledge and embodied knowing about birth does not belong to an individual group, time, place or person.
It is not feasible that anyone person or professional Group can hold all there is to know. Surely no one would claim this?
What matters most to us all is – being safe, feeling safe, being loved, being seen, being with-others respectfully. What matters is that we all engage in miracles daily. We, those privileged to be at birth, get to be at the time of an exquisite specialness. A time which is the greatest of equalises. A time when we can gather in awe at the mysteriousness of life! Surely that transcends any professional differences and conflict; surely within this living kairos time the silent voices of our collective inner selves are permitted to sing out in unison? We can transcend, just for a moment, the divergent discourses that serve us little when what matters most arrives as a message in a bottle from beyond the horizon. This is a celebration of our diversity and differing ways of coming to our knowing. Then we see there is nothing to protect. Then we become still and silenced.
As Christmas arrives, a time of reflection for many on a holy birth, I ponder the way we as society attune at birth today. All human experiences are culturally and historically determined, including birth. Birth as with all other human experience and understanding is contextual. As Gadamer contends we are viewing and knowing the world from an inescapable effective historical consciousness. We are in a way continually walking into our past. I argue like others that birth is not purely physiological but enmeshed in its own unique context. Therefore to explore any phenomenon at birth is at once to address all of birth, past and present which at the same time is connected to future possibilities. There are constant hints from history that gesture towards birth as significant fusing with contemporary horizons of understanding and possible futures. That is to say that how we tune into, tune in or attune at birth reveals how birth is understood.