Midwifery care perceives women as inherently healthy. Pregnancy is a state of health and childbirth is a normal, physiologic event that is a profound event in a woman’s life. Midwifery is holistic by nature, combining an understanding of the social, emotional, cultural, spiritual, psychological and physical aspects experienced by women during the childbearing cycle. Derived from both the arts and sciences, midwifery integrates knowledge that is based on research and experience. Midwifery promotes wellness in women, babies and families both autonomously and in collaboration with other health professions.
Midwifery care takes place in partnership with women and is provided in a manner that is flexible, empowering and supportive. Great importance is placed on the relationship with the pregnant woman who is recognized as the primary decision maker and shared decision making is promoted between the woman, her family (as defined by the woman) and her caregivers. In order to strengthen this process and to provide opportunities for informed choice, midwifery practice includes continuity of care.
Midwifery actively encourages informed choice throughout the childbearing cycle by providing complete, relevant, objective information to facilitate decision making. The practice of midwifery enables women to develop the understanding, skills and motivation necessary to take responsibility for and control of their own health.
Midwives respect the woman’s right to choose both her caregiver and place of birth in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the College of Midwives. All women, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances, have a right to accessible, comprehensive midwifery care.
Fundamental to midwifery care is the understanding that a woman’s caregivers respect and support her so that she may give birth safely with power and dignity.