Definition of MIDWIFE

MIDWIFE Noun and Verb

Midwife is primarily a noun referring to a trained healthcare professional who assists women during childbirth and provides care to mothers and newborns. It can also be used as a verb, meaning to assist in the birth of a baby or to bring something into being.

MIDWIFE as a noun

As a noun, midwife denotes a specialist in obstetrics, focusing on pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Midwives support women through prenatal care, labor, delivery, and postnatal care, ensuring the health and well-being of both mother and baby. They work in various settings, including hospitals, birthing centers, and home births.

Roles and Responsibilities: Midwives play a crucial role in maternal and newborn health, providing comprehensive care that includes monitoring the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the mother and baby throughout the childbearing process. Their responsibilities encompass prenatal check-ups, educating expectant mothers, managing labor and delivery, and offering postnatal support.

Training and Certification: Becoming a midwife requires specialized education and training. In many countries, midwives must complete a formal education program in midwifery, which includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Certification and licensing are typically required, ensuring that midwives meet professional standards and are qualified to provide care.

MIDWIFE as a verb

As a verb, midwife means to assist in the birth of a baby or to help bring something into existence. For example, one might say that a person helped “midwife a new project,” indicating they played a significant role in its development and completion.

Historical and Cultural Significance: The practice of midwifery has deep historical roots and varies across cultures. Historically, midwives were often community-based caregivers who possessed extensive knowledge of childbirth and maternal care. Today, midwives continue to be integral to maternity care in many parts of the world, blending traditional practices with modern medical techniques.

Comparison with Obstetricians: While both midwives and obstetricians are involved in maternity care, their roles and approaches can differ. Midwives typically focus on natural childbirth and holistic care, while obstetricians are medical doctors who can perform surgeries and manage high-risk pregnancies. Collaboration between midwives and obstetricians can provide comprehensive care for pregnant women.

In conclusion, a midwife is a noun referring to a trained healthcare professional specializing in childbirth and maternal care, as well as a verb meaning to assist in the birthing process or creation of something. Midwives are essential in ensuring the health and well-being of mothers and babies, providing holistic and personalized care throughout the childbearing process. Their role, rooted in historical traditions and evolving with modern healthcare, remains vital in today’s maternity care landscape.

MIDWIFE in a sentence

MIDWIFE as a noun in a sentence

  • The midwife provided continuous support to the laboring mother.
  • In many cultures, midwives are highly respected for their expertise in childbirth.
  • She decided to hire a midwife to assist with the home birth of her baby.
  • The midwife guided the mother through each stage of labor with patience and care.
  • Midwives often advocate for natural birthing practices and personalized care.
  • The midwife ensured that the birthing environment was calm and conducive to labor.
  • Midwives play a vital role in promoting maternal and infant health outcomes.
  • The midwife emphasized the importance of informed decision-making throughout the pregnancy.

MIDWIFE as a verb in a sentence

  • She chose to midwife her friend’s birth, offering emotional support and assistance.
  • The doula was trained to midwife births and provide compassionate care to laboring mothers.
  • In some cultures, women traditionally midwife each other’s births within their communities.
  • The experienced midwife gently midwifed the baby’s arrival, ensuring a smooth delivery.
  • She felt honored to midwife the birth of her niece, supporting her sister through the labor process.
  • The doula’s role is to midwife the birthing person’s journey, offering encouragement and guidance.
  • The midwifery model of care emphasizes the importance of midwifing the natural process of birth.
  • The midwife’s presence helped to midwife a sense of calm and confidence during the labor.

Origin of MIDWIFE

The term midwife refers to a trained healthcare professional who assists women during childbirth, providing support, guidance, and medical care before, during, and after labor. Delving into its etymology and usage unveils its significance in discussions surrounding obstetrics, maternal health, and childbirth practices.

  • Roots in Middle English: Midwife originates from the Middle English words “mid” (meaning “with”) and “wife” (meaning “woman”).
  • Evolution of Meaning: Historically, midwife referred to a woman who attended to women in labor, providing assistance during childbirth. Over time, it has evolved to encompass trained healthcare professionals, both female and male, who specialize in supporting women through the childbirth process.

In conclusion, midwife serves as a descriptor for a healthcare professional specializing in assisting women during childbirth. Its etymology underscores its historical association with women providing support during labor, while its modern usage encompasses a broader range of healthcare professionals trained in obstetrics and maternal care. Understanding the concept of a midwife highlights the importance of skilled care during childbirth and the essential role these professionals play in promoting maternal and infant health.


  • Birth assistant
  • Obstetrician
  • Childbirth attendant
  • Doula
  • Gynecologist
  • Parturition aide
  • Labor supporter
  • Neonatal caregiver


  • Paternal
  • Male doctor
  • Unassisted birth
  • Obstetrical neglect
  • Non-interventionist
  • Unattended childbirth
  • Antenatal non-support
  • Obstetrician absence


  • Maternity caregiver
  • Obstetric specialist
  • Birthing coach
  • Neonatal nurse
  • Midwifery
  • Perinatal caregiver
  • Postnatal aide
  • Reproductive health practitioner

🌐 🇬🇧 MIDWIFE in other languages

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