Parents

Toronto's Ryerson University's 1st Male Midwife Uses His Novelty To Spread Awareness

"As someone without female reproductive anatomy, I'm feeling quite humbled."

No one bats an eye when a male ob-gyn walks into a delivery room.

And it's more and more common to be coached through labour by nurses who are men. But a male midwife? Chances are you've never seen one. Even the name "midwife" — the root of which means "with woman" — suggests that men need not apply.

But Spencer Sawyer, a second-year midwifery student at Ryerson University in Toronto, is turning that notion on its head. Sawyer is set to become the program's first male graduate. When he starts practising, he'll be one of only a handful registered male midwives in all of Canada.

"I suppose it's like a family business — I come from a family of labour and delivery nurses," Sawyer told Ryerson Today, adding that his mother and grandmother were both labour and delivery nurses, and his own birth was attended by his great aunt.

Sawyer, who goes by the handle "Mr. Midwife" on social media, has been using his novelty to help spread education and awareness about labour and delivery, he told Ryerson Today.

He's been documenting his journey at Ryerson on Instagram since February last year, posting photos of learning clinical skills such as how to insert IVs and suture the perineum, and study sessions dedicated to the pelvic floor.

"As someone without female reproductive anatomy, I'm feeling quite humbled as I dive into this material, and am feeling especially charged to learn this aspect of reproductive health very, VERY well," Sawyer wrote on Instagram.

This morning's study sesh is dedicated to the pelvic floor. (Here's lookin at you, @vaginacoach !) As a future midwife, my awareness and capacity to care for my clients perineal health will have lasting effects on their everyday life. As someone without female reproductive anatomy, I'm feeling quite humbled as I dive into this material, and am feeling especially charged to learn this aspect of reproductive health very, VERY well. As a cisgender guy studying midwifery, I feel a responsibility to work against the history of obstetric violence in North America by being informed and empassioned about parineal health. . In Ontario, midwives are responsible for assessing perineal health after birth, and conduct repairs on first and second degree lacerations that may have resulted from vaginal birth. Ontario midwives are also trained in performing episiotomies, but utilize this skill to expedite the birth of a newborn in distress or to prevent an imminent tear that may infiltrate structures that are best avoided if possible. The use of routine episiotomy has fallen out of practice for many, if not all midwives, as few indiviudals require an episiotomy as a course of routine care. . Any helpful tips on learning pelvic floor health? Cool videos? Link them below! The text on my table is Myles 16th and on screen is Comprehensive Midwifery by McMaster University. . #studentmwlife #midwifery #midwife #midwives #birth #pelvicfloor #ontariomidwives #perineum #postpartum #sutures #study

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