Chapter 1: Words to midwives
• practice helping women with different problems by acting them out
(role play). For example, one
person can pretend to be a
pregnant woman who is not
eating enough healthy food.
Another person can pretend to be
her midwife — listening and
giving advice. Afterwards, each
actor can explain how she felt,
and the others in the group can
offer suggestions for what they
would do differently. Make sure everyone has a chance to play one of the roles.
• make use of different midwives’ skills. If one midwife knows how to read,
she can read aloud from books to the other midwives. A midwife who knows
how to sterilize tools can teach the others in the group.
Share what you know with the community
As a midwife, you give advice, treat problems, even save lives. But the overall health
of those around you is not in your hands alone. In part, this is because people
decide for themselves how to eat, how to do their work, and what choices they
make. By teaching and sharing information, midwives can help people to make
their own choices more wisely. This is why your first job as a midwife is to teach.
Teaching can happen anywhere and anytime. During a checkup, when you
explain to a woman why you are asking each question, you are teaching her. When
you show a woman’s husband why family planning is his responsibility too, you
are teaching him. Even at the market, at a community gathering, or anytime you
meet with others, you have the chance to teach.
There are probably topics that many people in the community could benefit from
learning about. If possible, call meetings for pregnant women, families, or other
community members to teach about health and birth. You can teach about:
• how the body works.
• how to choose and use family planning.
• how to eat and care for yourself in pregnancy.
• how to have a safer birth.
• how to care for yourself after a birth and how to breastfeed.
Teaching is a skill, and it takes practice. A good place to start
is by listening. When you find out what people already know,
you can help them build on that knowledge. And when you
listen, you will learn from those you are teaching.
Your ears are
2 of your most
A Book for Midwives (2010)