EUGENE, Ore. – This year, May 5 was more than just Cinco de Mayo. It’s also International Day of the Midwife – a day set aside to honor those who deliver 90% of the babies born in the world.
Midwives have long been known for their expertise in delivering babies, but the midwife of 2021 provides care for all stages of life.
“My youngest patient is about 13 and it’s more of a ‘is this normal for my body,’ and just the questions that can happen with cycles and discharge and all of those things people don’t really like to talk about,” said certified nurse midwife Tina Colwell with Women’s Care.
Colwell’s oldest patient is 92.
“It’s more of an issue of dryness and incontinence,” she said.
Like Colwell, Brooklynne Olds Travis said there’s something special about helping women with everything from menstruation to menopause.
“Just being able to partner with a woman throughout her life I think is a really special part about midwifery and a part about being in the business of birth is just I think a beautiful experience,” Olds Travis said.
About 90% of women who use midwives deliver in the hospital, where they choose how much or how little interaction they want.
“We provide emotional support. We provide physical support. There's counter pressure. Often times moms get kind of stuck in what they're doing because they're just trying to get through the next contraction. What we do a lot of the time is simply suggest new positions. ‘You've been contracting in this position for quite a while, maybe we should try the birth ball, or what do you think about getting in the tub?’” Olds Travis said.
Getting comfortable can also include an epidural.
“She can change her mind from one contraction to the next because when you get into it, that’s when you really know, ‘Oh, I changed my mind.’”
And whether you’re going to a midwife for a pregnancy or contraception, most services are covered by insurance.