Anyone who has ever experienced or assisted with child birth will know just how important midwifery really is. Pregnant women, women giving birth, mothers, fathers, and their newborns, should all be able to benefit from a midwife’s work. However, due to current legislation and health compensation in Luxembourg, not every woman or couple in the Grand Duchy is able to take full advantage of the services a midwife offers.
Many recent studies have shown just how important midwiferycare is. It has been proven that women who see a midwife during their pregnancy, have a lower risk of needing a cesarean section, going into premature labor, having a vacuum extraction, or facing postpartum depression. A midwife takes care of the mother or couple before, during, and after giving birth. She offers health education, helps with breastfeeding, and gives advice about how to take care of a newborn into the first weeks after the birth and the nutrition of a toddler. Having access to her guidance is crucial for many parents, both on a physical and on a psychological level. It’s a job with a great deal of responsibility.
Nevertheless, in Luxembourg only a very few women see a midwife during their pregnancy and when they do, it is often in the later stages.
Here in the Grand Duchy most midwifes work in hospitals, while only a few work as independent midwives due to discouragingly low pay and the signif- icant expenditure of time. In addition, patients lawfully need a medical pre- scription to make them eligible for referral to a midwife, resulting in the latter always depending on a doctor’s assessment and decision.
These circumstances are hindering many women in need of gaining quick and easy access to a midwife.
Many Luxembourgish residents aren’t aware that it is their legal right in Luxembourg to have the choice of where to give birth, the options being at home, in a birthing home, or at a hospital. However, due to a lack of alternatives – a delivery room lead by midwives simply does not exist at all here – they are practically being left to just the one option of giving birth in a hospital.
Every woman has the right to receive care in childbirth from an autonomous and competent midwife, not solely have the option of the medical model of care.
A midwife functions independently within the physiological realm of monitoring the pregnancy, child birth, and post-natal period. As soon as either starts experiencing complications and moves into the pathological realm, she works under the responsibility of a gynecologist.
In addition to her day-to-day work, a midwife is also involved in the training and coaching of students and new staff, and her own continuous training and research in the medical field of pregnancy, obstetrics and post-partum. She gives childbirth preparation courses and treats pregnant women in case of hospitalization – no matter at what point of their pregnancy – all while collaborating with the gynecologist and pediatrician and assisting them during potential interventions.
The ALSF have made it their mission, to inform women of their right to have access to the service of a midwife and to protect the rights and standing of midwives within the Luxembourgish healthcare system. It is their goal to reach and hold the standard of an up-to-date and ultimately progressive midwifery care in Luxembourg.
However, you wish to give birth, at home, in the delivery room, with a scheduled cesarean or a water birth surrounded by candles, you should have a choice. You should have options.
For more information, please do check out the ALSF website sages-femmes.lu or email firstname.lastname@example.org.