Sarah, Senior Midwifery Clerk
“My recent experiences providing supportive and clinical care to clients with physical and sensory disabilities have been incredibly rewarding, humbling, and inspiring. More specifically, we recently provided midwifery care for a client who is Deafblind.
This experience compelled us to be intentional about ensuring we were providing maternity care that was specific to this clients unique needs. In order to accommodate relationship-building and informed-decision making for her, we booked hour-long prenatal visits to ensure that there was plenty of time for discussion through intervenors. Teaching and providing guidance to clients through intervenors can be an added challenge, but we were blown away by the intervenors ability to engage with both ourselves and our client. When reflecting after each appointment, I always felt positive that our client was receiving all of the valuable information she needed to make her own health care decisions.
Supporting clients with sensory disabilities through labour, birth, and the immediate postpartum period can also pose distinct challenges. I found it immensely valuable to learn how to guide a woman through a long labour and birth (especially the pushing phase) through an intervenor. In the end, I ended up on the bed with her acting out breathing and pushing patterns! We also attempted to advocate for our client when other health care providers were involved and did not display an adequate amount of patience and empathy in providing care.
One of my most cherished memories in midwifery to date will be her sense of pride and empowerment after she gave birth to a healthy baby. Through these experiences, I have been driven to continue to provide intentionally inclusive midwifery care for clients with disabilities. I will hope to continue to reach out to these clients to ensure that I play a role in supporting them to have positive pregnancy and birth experiences.”