Midwives play an essential role in birthing a child. They can provide pregnant women with emotional support, and comfort by being by their sides. Still, midwives can be a foreign practice for international families. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about midwives and their roles in vulnerable times like labor.
Role of Midwives in Germany
It can be possible that you may not be fully familiar with the roles of midwives, especially if you are new to Germany. Well, to keep things simple, midwives are trained professionals who help you go through your pregnancy and take care of you and your newborn’s health. Whether you are having trouble sleeping at night due to your pregnancy or are confused about how to breastfeed your child, a Midwife is one call away. They can not only guide you but can also perform physical examinations post-birth.
In Germany, you are legally entitled to have a midwife with you during your birth process. Thus, some may hire them pre-birth to help them go through their pregnancy and labor, especially when giving birth for the first time. Others may hire one at the hospital to help them post-birth.
Although with time, OB-GYN is becoming a more popular option for women, the importance of midwives still exists for women in Germany.
Why Do You Need a Midwife?
Pregnancy can be stressful, and not every time you can visit your doctor or gynecologists. This is where midwives can assist you whenever you require it. Some of their services include:
- Prenatal care
- Preconception care
- Labor and delivery support
- Newborn care
- Menopausal management
- Nutrition and pregnancy health care
Especially for the first pregnancy, midwives can be the personal guide to the family. They work closely with the mother and the child after birth. With frequent house visits and calls, they monitor their health. So, whether you are having trouble feeding your baby or wondering what to eat after childbirth, midwives can help you.
Benefits Of a Midwife
Emotional, Practical, and Social Support
Midwives have a special combination of emotional, practical, and social support to assist you in any way possible. They can teach new parents about birthing plans, labor, and delivery experience while finding a perfect plan to make this process less painful and cumbersome.
Undoubtedly, pregnancy is nerve-racking. It is the time when emotional and physical support is needed. A midwife is a right and professionally trained person who can make this time less stressful for you. Midwives can interact with you and will work closely to cater to your concerns. They will also provide all necessary educational courses related to motherhood.
Assistance in deciding Nutritious Diet
Everyone knows that the health of a pregnant woman is important, right? But, even before getting pregnant, it holds huge significance. A midwife can help you in deciding a healthy nutritious diet and exercise plan. In addition to helping you quit bad habits before becoming pregnant, they can also guide you in choosing a birthing plan for your partner.
In-person Support During Childbirth
Bringing a new life into the world is a touching experience. But sometimes it can be frightening for families. The labor and delivery of the child may seem like a tough experience. A midwife can provide you with in-person support during labor and childbirth. For controlling pain, they can provide pain relief options like an epidural if needed.
Aftercare is important for the mother after childbirth. This is where midwives are helpful. They provide postpartum care to mothers who decide to breastfeed their children. As part of ensuring good health, they also monitor them, provide frequent checkups, and prescribe medications as required.
How to Find a Midwife in Germany
It can be very difficult to find a midwife these days. Thus, it is better to start your search as soon as you know you are pregnant. This will give you plenty of time to gather knowledge about hebamme near you.
You can start your search at hebammensuche, Anmely, and Spitzenverband. It is a national site that can help you narrow down your list per area, language, and service. You can also talk to your friends and neighbors about finding a midwife. They might refer you to a potential midwife, easing your search. You can also visit Facebook groups to find the right fit for you.
This early decision will allow you to receive pre-birth care from an expert. But if you don’t want one at the start, then you can also find a hammer after childbirth at the hospital. Some of the other institutes that can help you with this quest are mentioned below:
- The maternity hospital was also known as Geburtskliniken or Entbindungskliniken
- Midwife clinics and birth centers are also known as Hebammenpraxen and Geburtshäuser
- Gynecologists are known as Frauenärzte und Frauenärztinnen
- Family education centres are also known as Familienbildungsstätte
In general, the cost of a midwife per hour is around €40, but it varies depending on the experience of the midwife and the type of contract. Before hiring, you need to check your insurance, and whether the expenses of midwives are included or not. Most health insurance companies, including Krankenkasse, have a list of midwives, and they also cover their costs. So it is better to make a call to your insurance company to get assistance in making an economical decision.
How To Choose the Right Midwife for You?
Now that we know the role of a midwife in pregnancy, finding the right midwife is important. To help you in narrowing down the list of midwives, here are five things that you need to consider before hiring.
Do You Feel Yourself Around This Person?
To be open with a person about your doubts, you need to feel comfortable around them. The vulnerable times of pregnancy will pass more easily if the person supports you and makes you feel yourself. Otherwise, if you feel judged, you will not be able to share your questions with that person. So check in with yourself.
Does your body relax when you see that person? Do you feel comfortable, or do you hold back? Can you share challenging emotions with the person?
Is This Person Culturally Sensitive?
Cultural differences hold huge importance when it comes to giving childbirth. Sometimes, you can anticipate it, while other times, you may be unaware of the expectations and beliefs. So, the midwife should be open to supporting families with distinct cultural norms.
To avoid any conflict, you should have a conversation with the midwife before hiring and see if she has experience working with international families. How open is this person to cultural differences? You can also get her feedback on specific cultural practices. This conversation will help you assess this person’s competence.
Will This Person Support You Emotionally?
Childbirth is a big emotional transition. In order to reduce the risk of postpartum mood disorder, it is important to provide emotional support to the mother. So the person you choose should ask questions about the mother’s health, listen to her, and help her relax at stressful times. Knowledge about postpartum mood disorder will help in dealing with vulnerable times. And for that, topics such as postpartum depression and anxiety should be well-versed by the person.
Ask how does that person handle a mother that struggles with emotional health? Does she provide other types of postpartum care, like breastfeeding assistance?
Will This Person Support Your Decision?
Midwives have a wealth of knowledge related to pregnancy thanks to their extensive experience. There can be times when the values or beliefs of the family do not meet with that of midwives. In such subjects, both parties need to be open for discussion. The midwife should also respect the feedback of the family. To avoid any disagreement, consider all your values and beliefs related to the birth of the child. Then discuss them with the midwife to know whether they support you or not.
See, do they listen to your decisions? Do they share their opinions about finding the best way for the baby and the mother?
Will There Be a Language Barrier?
Communication can be a barrier in Germany if you are from an international family. Generally, it is better to focus on finding a midwife that speaks your mother tongue. This can be very helpful in communicating with your midwife under stressful situations. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find one. In that case, you can find a translator who can work closely between you and the midwife. This way, you can address the communication issue while getting the best care from an expert.
Pregnancy can be a great deal of stress for the mother and her family, both physically and emotionally. But this period is crucial. A midwife can assist you in passing this duration with ease as they personally cater to your concerns. Thus, it is better to start your hunt for a midwife as soon as you hear the good news. This way, you will have the right midwife by your side as you bring new life to this world.