A woman can be assisted by a midwife between pubescence and advanced age, not just during pregnancy, childbirth, or the postnatal period. Experts believe that a midwife should accompany a woman throughout her entire life.

“In Poland, the potential of midwives is not used enough, as we focus on the important periods of pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period," assesses dr. Beata Naworska, a lecturer at the Department of Health Sciences at the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice.

She notes that a midwife should accompany a woman from her pubescence; support the girl during changes occurring in her body, then turn her attention to the need of a healthy lifestyle when she wants to get pregnant, take care of her during the pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, after any surgeries and during menopause.

Choice of midwife – a very important decision

As emphasised by dr. Naworska, the occupation of midwife definitely requires specific predispositions.

“This is simply a calling which allows a midwife to establish trust-based contact with the patient. Without it, the job will not be satisfactory to either side. We are talking here about a kind of therapeutic relation. We have to remember that many people have a certain barrier in contacts with physicians and it is easier for them to talk to a nurse or midwife, who also have more time for the patients," adds dr. Naworska.

This is why it is so important to choose the right person. According to regulations, each patient can choose, free of charge, the general health care physician, nurse and midwife no more than twice a year.

The choice or change is made directly at a health centre and this fact does not have to be confirmed at the local branch of the National Health Fund. Each unjustified change is subject to a fee of PLN 80 paid to the relevant branch of the NHF.

Assignments of a midwife

A general health care midwife provides complex nursing midwife and gynaecological assistance to the woman and neonatal care to the infant. She prepares a prenatal education plan to instruct pregnant women – including those with high-risk pregnancies – practically and theoretically preparing them for the labour, the postnatal period, breastfeeding, and motherhood. The exercises can be conducted individually and in groups.

Following childbirth, the midwife takes care of the newborn for two months and of the woman throughout the postnatal period, making four to six patronage visits during this time.

The assignments of a midwife also include nursing care of a woman after a gynaecological or gynaecologic oncology surgery from the discharge from the hospital to the complete healing of the post-surgery wound. The midwife visits the patient at home based on the referral to medical services recommended in the information card.

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