“When you are new at sheep-raising and your ewe has a lamb, your impulse is to stay there and help it nurse and see to it and all. After a while you know that the best thing you can do is walk out of the barn.” -Wendell Berry as quoted in a recent NYT article.
This quote couldn't describe midwifery more elegantly. Most of the time the hardest part of our job really is to just "walk out of the barn". Birth works, babies are born, mamas give birth, just like the moon rises at night and stars set in the morning. The intense, powerful energies at birth are often contagious and we just want to jump in and soak it up, but it is not meant for us. Center stage is for the family, we must quietly exit stage left. Unless of course we are needed, but mostly, we can take five, and mother and baby are more than fine. I love this post at Progressive Parenting about three things we need to stop doing to newborns. Here's a clue, stop Hatting, stop Patting, and stop Chatting! I mean look at that sheep mama above, does she need any help raising her adorable lamb? It looks like she's got it under control to me!