Guiding Principles and Beliefs

Birthingway’s Midwifery Program is based on the following guiding principles and beliefs:

Midwives are trained independent practitioners who are specialists in natural, vaginal childbirth, in well-woman gynecology and in mother-baby care.

Pregnancy and birth are healthy processes with a wide range of normal variations.

Pregnancy and childbirth usually progress best without interference which inevitably alters and frequently harms the reproductive process. Facilitating a biodynamic birth provides an optimal birth experience for all participants.

Each individual and family is unique and best served by individualized, non-routinized care.

A midwife’s role is not to manage, but to support, encourage, and guide. A midwife does not empower individuals, rather she assists individuals as they empower themselves.

Midwives provide continuity of care throughout the reproductive year, and integrated care for the woman, infant, and family.

The focus of midwifery care is the childbearing woman and her family. Pregnancy and birth are major life experiences of the childbearing woman, not the birth attendant.

Midwives honor and support independent decision-making. Active use of informed choice is an essential part of midwifery practice.

Midwives believe in the intrinsic value of childbirth as a process, while simultaneously working toward the goal of a healthy mother and infant.

Midwives strive to be inclusive and cooperative, freely sharing knowledge with clients and peers, rather than being oppositional or controlling in their interactions

Midwives are best trained by other midwives. Hands-on learning should be a major component of midwifery education.

While childbearing clients and families are responsible for the outcomes of their own decisions, midwives have responsibility for maintaining a safe situation. Skills must be kept current and knowledge updated so that the midwife can optimally perform her tasks of overseeing the progress of pregnancy, labor, and postpartum; providing well-woman gynecological care; observing signs and detecting problems; promoting health and encouraging prevention; and utilizing midwifery knowledge and skills to rectify problems or consult/refer as appropriate.