If you think midwives are untrained labour coaches who can only deliver babies at home, you're not alone. But you're wrong
When Stephanie Slobodnik became pregnant with her first child, a friend persuaded her to consider using a midwife. “I was a little nervous because I didn’t know anything about midwives,” she says. “Would there be pain relief if I wanted it? That was big with me! Would I have to deliver at home?” The Toronto human resources manager decided to check in with her doctor. “She is quite conservative and I didn’t think she’d be very gung-ho,” says Slobodnik. “But she was. She has several patients who have used midwives and she’d heard many positive things about them.” Slobodnik ended up having such a wonderful experience that she called her midwife as soon as she found out she was pregnant with baby number two — and again with her third.
Slobodnik is one of a growing number of women in Canada who are choosing midwives for a more personal childbirth experience. In the process, they’re finding the stereotypical image of the midwife as an untrained labour coach who only delivers babies at home is more myth than reality. Still, some misconceptions linger. “It’s amazing what we hear from people all the time,” says Lisa Weston, a midwife and vice-president of the Association of Ontario Midwives. Here are seven of the most common midwifery myths, debunked.