I have been paying attention to the words that people use to discuss midwives and their roles in women’s lives. I hear many people saying, “midwives empower women”.
We must be careful about saying these things. Midwives do NOT empower women. Women are naturally strong, we carry our own power, and that inner power is not something that a midwife or anyone else can bestow.
The very best that women and midwives can hope to accomplish together, is that of experienced women reaching out to and taking the journey with our differently experienced sisters, so our natural strength and inner power can be found, nurtured and held up for each other to see and appreciate. We shine like an image in a mirror, that confirms and affirms what we know deep down in our bones to be true, but which we are sometimes afraid to embrace.
We are not talking here about an age exchange. All women are more experienced in some things and less experienced in others. In the true midwifery spirit, both the “midwife” and the women she walks the path with, are able to grow as human beings by our interactions with each other.
As we grow, we can begin to understand how the strength of our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends, daughters and granddaughters reflects our own inner strength. When we can see that power all around us, in every age, shape, size and generation, we begin to see ourselves capable of whatever mountain, hurdle or difficulty that needs to be overcome.
At the end of the day, or many days, a woman who has known and walked with a midwife will look at her accomplishments and say “I did it myself, if I can do this, I can do anything.”