Guiding principles and philosophy of midwifery practice
The model of midwifery practice is based on the following guiding principles:
- Confidence in the competence and autonomy of women; ;
- Respect and trust in the physiological process of pregnancy and childbirth;
- The importance of the continuity of care and the relationship;
- The personal and egalitarian relationship with the woman.
More specifically, the philosophy of midwifery practice, adopted by the RSFQ in 1997, is defined as follows:
“The practice of midwifery is based on respect for pregnancy and childbirth as normal physiological processes, carrying deep meaning in the lives of women.
Midwives recognize that labour and birth belong to women and their families. The responsibility of health professionals is to provide women with the respect and support they need to give birth in safety and with dignity.
Midwives respect the diversity of women’s needs and the plurality of personal and cultural meanings that women, their families and their communities attribute to pregnancy, birth and the experience of new parenting.
The practice of midwifery is exercised within the framework of a personal and egalitarian relationship, open to the physical, social, cultural and emotional needs of women. This relationship is built on the continuity of care and services during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.
Midwives encourage women to make choices about the care and services they receive and how these services are delivered. They consider the decisions as resulting from a process where responsibilities are shared between the woman, her family (as defined by the woman) and health professionals. They recognize that the final decision rests with the woman.
Midwives respect the right of women to choose their healthcare professional and the birthplace, in accordance with the standards of practice of the Quebec College of Midwives. Midwives are ready to assist women in the birthplace of their choice, including their home.
Midwives consider the promotion of health to be essential in the maternity cycle. Their practice is based on prevention and includes a judicious use of technology.
Midwives consider the interests of the mother and her unborn child to be related and compatible. They believe that the best way to ensure the well-being of the mother and her baby is to focus their care on the mother.
Midwives encourage family and community support as the preferred means of facilitating the adjustment of new families.”