The Importance of Midwives and the Skill and Science Behind Being One

By Nina Indigo for FunTimes Magazine

Researchers have brought a serious issue in midwifery to surface. They stress the importance of midwives and their need to better understand the skill and science of being one, specifically within their emotional intelligence. Why, because it’s essential to how well they perform their roles as midwives. This issue is getting attention, there is a need for new influences, and ways of understanding childbirth. How, specifically in the way midwife nurses are educated. There is high demand to increase the practice emotional intelligence to be a good midwife and understand your patients emotional needs too.

It is vital midwife nurses are taught to understand the emotional nature of practice. To have emotional intelligence is an essential skill for childbirth, and can be normalized with the appropriate skill.

Here are some of the greatest Black midwives of the United States, notice how they conducted their roles as midwives; and find out why they continue to be held as role models today:

  1. Mary Coley, she is one of our generation’s greatest granny midwives, and continues to be a role model to all future-generation midwives. When she became a midwife, she incorporated her emotional intelligence by providing additional services after childbirth. She did it through cooking, cleaning, childminding, and laundering. Mary Coley was known affectionately by many of her patients for these methodologies. You can experience Ms. Coley’s methodologies too just by applying them to your own midwifery.
  2. Mrs. Arilla Smiley, another leading midwife in the United States, worked in Atlanta, Georgia. Mrs. Smiley was trained by the local Health Department in Brunswick Georgia. She first apprenticed with her mother-in-law, Mrs. Beatrice Borders. Later, she received her license to perform her midwife duties in 1963 and then retired in 1987. In an interview with Mrs. Smiley, she was asked how she first became involved with becoming a midwife. She said, “I was to be a midwife by God.” She recalled, whenever she was concerned about birth she would go into a quiet room and pray. Mrs. Smiley delivered over one thousand babies in Mitchell County. You could incorporate prayer as a healing methodology in your midwife practice too. This encourages the use of emotional intelligence during childbirth and will strengthen your skills as a midwife and your helping a mother deliver her newborn safely into the world. It also shows the family you are devoted to your services to them. 

Here are 3 additional strategies for midwives to practice using emotional intelligence skills with their patients and midwife nursing practice:

  1. Midwives: Practice Monitoring Your Emotional Intelligence.

    To work in midwife practice your must monitor your ability to regulate your emotions during stressful times. Recognize the painful situation in childbirth a mother is under., But do not be overburdened by the stress. Try to provide the best care for the individual while you maintain control under intense moments of childbirth. This takes patience, but being able to remain calm and take control of emotionally charged situations, like providing appropriate antenatal, postnatal advice and reassurance regarding your patience needs, is a part of your role as skilled midwife.
  2. Obtain Focus of Your Self-awareness
  3. Create a Positive Workspace.

    It is essential to value and respect your fellow mentors. Your excellence and professionalism, give a sense of humanity and kindness. Sometimes as midwives you will be taught different ways to do certain jobs. You must learn to be adaptable. If you work a different way, make sure you have sufficient evidence for why you do it this way, so they can understand.

To be the best midwife it’s all about communication, information and inclusiveness. A good skillful, experienced midwife who holds great wealth in her work is mainly in knowing child birth and knowing how to care and deal with complex situations, always sincere, willful and organically enjoying working with mothers and their babies.

Work Source

PGCPE, DPMSBSHI. “An exploration of the importance of emotional intelligence in midwifery.” (2010).

Walsh, Denis, ed. Evidence and skills for normal labour and birth: a guide for midwives. Routledge, 2011.

UniSouthWales. “Study Midwifery – What Makes a Good Midwife?” YouTube, YouTube, 20 Feb. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtbhO_BztNc.

 Euphoric Herbals. “15 Black Midwives You Should Know.” Euphoric Herbals, www.euphoricherbals.com/blogs/news/black-midwives-you-should-know

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Jos Duncan is a multimedia producer, professional storyteller, and social entrepreneur with over fifteen years experience collaboratively creating and documenting community-centered narratives. She is the founder of Love Now Media, an empathy-centered media company that uses storytelling to advocate for social justice and wellness, now.

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