What to be a midwife looks like? My journey into midwifery school and ultimately to becoming a midwife.

Service before profit, profession before advantage, and public welfare above all

M.PATRICK, RM RRH/Rwanda

When I enrolled at the University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, everyone was given a chance to choose three departments by which one of them would be selected for him/her. The way I clung to midwifery pushed me to choose it three times as one of the ways to maximize the chance of becoming a midwife. Though I didn’t really know what to be a midwife looks like, I had in my imaginations the happiness I can experience after helping a mother to deliver a healthy baby.

In a short time, my dreams came true when I started midwifery course. I heard many voices telling me that midwifery is tiresome and not rewarding, others said that it is not suitable for a male to be a midwife. Even the term midhusband has been occasionally used as a discouragement but was only based on misunderstanding of the etymology of midwife which literary means with woman. Despite all of these, my voice within journey was louder than all from without and this strengthen me to move forward.

“My advice: Be true to yourself. Find what you are passionate about and run with it. Don’t care about the voices telling you that you are not able, it is not possible, you can’t do it, let the voice within yourself be louder.”

Patrick believe that Midwifery was and will ever be a noble profession, and its motto is service before profit, profession before advantage, and public welfare above all. When you save the life of a woman, and help her to deliver a healthy baby, you realize the magnitude of change that your outstanding commitment and effort can bring about. That is a very satisfying feeling. It is incredibly taxing and ultimately rewarding.

Midwives and midwifery are much more than just the moment of the delivery. We are partners in women’s health and wellness. I support women and their families through pregnancy, on labor and in postpartum period. Also, I work in and across a wide range of settings and make a significant contribution to the wider public health agenda. For this to be effective, we ought to be trustworthy, resilient and compassionate.

Among midwives’ burdens is the staff shortage compared to their workload. The effort is needed to increase the number of birth attendants especially in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

As we celebrate the International Day of Midwife on May 05, 2020, we are thankful to our the partners for their continued effort to supporting midwifery in our country and demanding them to increase the investment in recruiting, training and improving the working environment for midwives, to ensure a committed and motivated midwifery workforce is better serving the community.

Published on June 10, 2020

Author: MANIBAHO Patrick, RM RRH/Rwanda, patsicko@gmail.com 

Edited and Submitted by Jean Pierre Ndayisenga, RM, BScN, MScN, Nurse-Midwife Educator at University of Rwanda Member of Rwanda Association of Midwives (RAM) Email: ndayijepi45@gmail.comj.ndayisenga@ur.ac.rw