When I first started my midwifery degree, I was childless.
Many of the women in my family questioned my decision to become a midwife based on the fact that I didn’t have any kids.
“How can you help women give birth when you’ve never given birth yourself?” said one aunt.
Watch: Your questions about childbirth answered by mums and non-mums. Post continues below.
As I was raised to respect my elders, I kept quiet and listened to them criticise me for my career choice.
But as I progressed through my degree, I quickly realised that my relatives weren’t the only ones who held this belief.
A question that is often asked by expectant parents to midwives is, “Do you have any kids?”
While some ask this question to break the ice between them and their midwife, many expectant parents unfortunately ask this question as they believe that they will receive better care from a midwife who has had kids themselves than from one who hasn’t.
Not only is this type of thinking flawed, but it is discriminatory and offensive.
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Midwives aren’t hired based on whether they’ve had children or not. They’re hired because they’re deemed competent practitioners who are capable of providing high-quality evidence-based care.
And besides, being a midwife is much more than about just giving birth. It’s about supporting women throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum period while also having the ability to recognise any deviations from the norm and knowing exactly how to manage them, so that the woman and her family are able to have positive outcomes.