Many midwives are operating from a level of fear, even after many years of practice: Fear of not knowing how to handle complications, fear of making mistakes, fear of criticism, fear of litigation, fear of going to jail. These are all legitimate concerns, perhaps, but it is inconsistent with the idea of "with woman" midwifery to practice under a cloud of fear.
I think there is a cure for at least some of those fears. Your fear as a midwife will decrease as you internalize the reality that your role as a midwife is not one of authority but assistance....and that is a life-changing paradigm shift.
Once you think of yourself as a paid consultant and NOT the holder of bottom line responsibility and certainly not the woman's authority, everything is different.
When you think of your role this way, you will realize that most of your work is done long before your client goes into labor. Your role will be to encourage, motivate, and believe in your client. Your work involves helping her recover her own sense of ownership, authority and confidence in her ability to assist her body in doing the job it knows how to do.
Once you LIVE as if you believe that birth is safe and interference is what is risky, and once you realize that the responsibility and authority for what happens to a woman during her birth is her own, and not yours....I think you will find many fears dissipate.
Transitioning to Trust Birth Midwifery and Transitioning to Trust Birth Childbirth Education will be two of our panel sessions at the upcoming Trust Birth Conference in March 2008.