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Happy Father’s Day!

November 11, 2007
 
Happy Father’s Day – Hyvää Isänpäivää to all those Finnish fathers out there. That would include the Mr. who is enjoying his first father’s day this year. Smile
 
An interesting article appeared in the print version of Helsingin Sanomat today. I am hoping that it will be published in English on the HS International website so that I can share the link and information with you.
 
The whole pregnancy and birthing process in Finland is dominated by nurses and midwives. Doctors rarely intervene, only for check-ups and if there is a serious problem with the mother during pregnancy and/or birth. I can say from my own experience that I only saw a doctor prior to giving birth and didn’t see a doctor again until I had to go for my post-natal exam. As far as I know it is very different where I come from in Ontario. Back to Finland…
 
In Finland there are men who are qualified “midwives”. Should we be calling them “midhusbands” or something?? Wink Anyways, while this is not entirely a surprise, it is an interesting career choice for a man. They see the world of pregnancy and birth from an entirely different perspective than women in the profession do.
 
The article in question focused on Ville T., a midwife at the Kätilöopisto (The Midwifery Maternity Hospital is the best translation I can come up with) in Helsinki.  Ville T. became a midwife in 2001 and has been working in Helsinki since 2006 after transferring from a hospital in southeastern Finland. According to the journalist Emmi Sjöholm there are some 20 men who have received midwifery education in Finland. At Kätilöopisto, three of these men practice their craft (if I can call it that!). Ville T. is involved in some 200 births a year on average. He is a specialist in “birthing fear” and holds weekly sessions with mothers-to-be to discuss and dispel their fears.
 
While it seems funny that a man might be telling me how I should start breastfeeding my baby, I suppose that the men involved in the profession worldwide have to work harder to prove that they know their stuff. The Mr. asked me today if I would have had a problem with a man being involved in my baby’s birth… Well he was there, so I guess not!
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. jpe.salo permalink
    December 6, 2007 7:44 pm

    I was under the impression that the word "midwife" is Ye Olde English from the Very Old Days and means "with woman". The wikipedia seems to back me up on this. Anyway, do men know any less about breatfeeding than women who haven’t given birth? Women don’t start in their professions when their kids are old enough to stay home alone :PBut thanks of your blog, it’s interesting read, as always.

  2. anonymous permalink
    March 28, 2011 3:56 pm

    I think it’s more like Midwife Academy/College/Training College/School/Institute.

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