Guiding Principles and Philosophy

Birthingway's Midwifery Program is based on the following principles:

  • Midwives are trained independent practitioners who are specialists in natural, vaginal childbirth, in well-woman gynecology and in mother-baby care.

  • Pregnancy and birth are healthy processes with a wide range of normal variations.

  • Pregnancy and childbirth usually progress best without interference which inevitably alters and frequently harms the reproductive process. Facilitating a biodynamic birth provides an optimal birth experience for all participants.

  • Each woman and family is unique and best served by individualized, non-routinized care.

  • A midwife's role is not to manage, but to support, encourage and guide. A midwife does not empower women, rather she assists women as they empower themselves.

  • Midwives provide continuity of care throughout the reproductive year, and integrated care for the woman, infant, and family.

  • The focus of midwifery care is the childbearing woman and her family. Pregnancy and birth are major life experiences of the childbearing woman, not the birth attendant.

  • Midwives honor and support a woman's right to make her own decisions. Active use of informed choice is an essential part of midwifery practice.

  • Midwives believe in the intrinsic value of childbirth as a process while simultaneously working toward the goal of a healthy mother and infant.

  • Midwives strive to be inclusive and cooperative, freely sharing knowledge with clients and peers, rather than being oppositional or controlling in their interactions

  • Midwives are best trained by other midwives. Hands-on learning should be a major component of midwifery education.

  • While childbearing women and families are responsible for the outcomes of their own decisions, midwives have responsibility for maintaining a safe situation. Skills must be kept current and knowledge updated so that the midwife can optimally perform her tasks of overseeing the progress of pregnancy, labor, and postpartum; providing well-woman gynecological care; observing signs and detecting problems; promoting health and encouraging prevention; and utilizing midwifery knowledge and skills to rectify problems or consult/refer as appropriate.

Birthingway College of Midwifery supports and follows the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) definition of a midwife, as reflected in the MANA Statement of Values and Ethics, MANA Core Competencies for Midwifery Practice, and MANA Standards for the Art and Practice of Midwifery.