Midwifery isn’t just about delivering babies

Sister Romanah Swarts of Tygerberg Hospital. Picture: SUPPLIED

Romanah Swarts has safely delivered hundreds of babies, even on trains.

Tygerberg Hospital paid tribute to the 55-year-old midwife from Dennemere and her colleagues when it marked International Day of the Midwife on Tuesday May 5. Hospital spokeswoman Laticia Pienaar thanked them for helping to bring babies into the world, ensuring both they and their mothers received essential care.

This year’s theme for International Day of Midwife was “Celebrate. Demonstrate. Mobilise. Unite.” Ms Pienaar said it stressed the need for all women to raise awareness about the importance of midwives and their work.

Hailing from a family of midwives, Sister Swarts, who has been a midwife since 2004, said she was very happy with her career choice. “Seeing the appreciation after a delivery is worth more than any medal to a midwife. Best of all is when the parents show you, with pride in their eyes, the child you helped into life.”

Midwifery, she said, was not only about delivering a baby but also about caring for the mother and baby afterwards and advising the mother about family planning and spacing pregnancies. “So good communication skills are a must to help mom with decisions made concerning correct choices on family planning. It’s important to be informed in order to answer questions after a delivery so that new moms know the road ahead.”

Prospective midwives should have a passion for working with people, she said. “You will be making a difference in society because almost everyone will end up in a hospital sometime in their life,” she said. “To be a midwife is to love your fellow human being. You must be able to serve the patient gently throughout the whole childbirth journey.”