pregnancy.jpgMany Filipinos think midwives have careers only in the provinces or far-flung areas. But though cities seem to have enough hospitals to accommodate mothers, a lot of women still demand for licensed midwives, who provide personal care that public hospitals cannot give.

Rufina Jurilla, a midwife for more than 40 years, believes they play an integral part in many urban centers’ health care system. "In Quezon City, our health centers usually employ only one doctor, one dentist, and one nurse. But there are more midwives," explains Ms. Jurilla.

What we don't know is how midwives, who are also commonly called "barefoot doctors" or "little M.D.s," do a lot more than just help women give birth. Midwives in health centers also assist in the prevention of communicable diseases, administer immunization to children, and educate couples about family planning.

Despite its range of responsibilities, midwifery's core remains to be maternal and early child care—something that Ms. Jurilla considers her first love.

"In my younger days, I used to attend to 12 to 15 deliveries a month," shares Ms. Jurilla. "It's this aspect of midwifery that has given me a lot of memorable experiences."

Though she has encountered a lot of sensitive pregnancies over the course of her lengthy career, Ms. Jurilla is proud that all mothers she has helped through labor have pulled through and recovered.

Understanding the needs of Filipino midwives, Wyeth Philippines continues to support local healthcare’s unsung heroes by providing them with up-to-date scientific information through seminars, lectures, and training sessions with topics related to primary health care such as pre- and post-natal care, perineal suturing and emergency obstetrics, as well as updates on ethics in midwifery practice. Through these efforts, Wyeth Philippines aims to equip midwives with updated skills and knowledge.

Knowing these valuable skills and experience midwives possess, would you want one to help you give birth or would you still leave it all to doctors and nurses in a hospital? Let us know what you think.

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