All posts filed under: medical

Maternal Health Care: A Midwife’s Tale

This is the second part in a series exploring the profession of a midwife and their value at birth. You can find more information about the profession and the first piece here. The phone rings, rousing her from a slumber. On the other end of the line, a pregnant woman is deep in the throes of labour. It’s the height of the night. But as the new mother is about to discover, babies have no regard for schedules. The rhythm and regularity of her contractions suggests that birth is imminent. The freshly woken woman heads out to attend the delivery. For Bounmy Inthavong, it’s just another day on the job. Bounmy is a midwife practicing in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Though she’s been catching babies since 2015, her interest in women’s health has been a lifelong passion. The daughter of Lao refugees, she discovered the value of patient-centered care at an early age. “My brother and I were born in refugee camps. My dad had to deliver us because the births went so fast and crazy. My …

Maternal Health Care: Midwives in Canada and Laos

This is the first piece in a series exploring the profession of a midwife and their value at birth. “Here comes another one.” The fetal monitor spiked as another contraction began. I paced the floor, trying to block out the beeping machines and freezing operating room. After three home births, this was no doubt unchartered territory. But the high-risk nature of delivering twins dictated that even a natural birth should take place here. Our babies arrived healthy and without complication. Working to make this happen was a medical team consisting of an obstetrician, nurses, and an anesthesiologist standing by in case of emergency. At the core of this group were two midwives whose support remain invaluable to this day. Midwifery is an anomaly to many in the modern world. The term often conjures images of home births with basic medical supplies. This is a snapshot of prenatal care in much of the developing world. In rural Lao PDR, midwives are stationed at the front lines of maternal and newborn health. A single clinic serves several …