What are the best gifts to give your midwife?

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

It's the most emotional time of your life and you want to thank those who helped you on your journey.

But what is the best gift to give your midwife?

Midwife Kathy Fray has been there for many births over her decade long career.

"As an on-call midwife most of my clients are private (meaning I would look after them throughout their entire journey from pregnancy, to birth, to the postpartum) and that is an enormous and intrepid journey that each woman undergoes," Ms Fray said.

When a new parent recognises a midwife's commitment to them by giving them a card with a heartfelt message it can mean the world.

"At the end of the day, more than anything, it is the card," she said.

"It is the words written in the card that touch you at your core. 

"Midwives are notoriously underpaid for the immense responsibility we take on and the personal sacrifices we make to be at a woman's side night and day. And when the woman shows they 'get' that, it means the absolute world to us."

That's not to say she hasn't also received a lot of heartfelt gifts.

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"The most popular I receive are chocolates, candles and hand/foot creams," Ms Fray said.

"The whole family all enjoy my chocolates, the kids describe my candles, when all lit, as likely being visible from outer-space, and it took me two years after no longer being an on-call midwife to run out of hand/foot moisturisers."

She's also been given some more unique gifts like her favourite wine or flowers, personalised jewelry and movie or dinner vouchers she could enjoy with her husband.

"And an absolute all-time adored favourite present was a client who beautifully framed a black and white photo of me with her baby, including a poem she wrote from the baby to me," she said.

"That gift put tears in my eyes."

Registered midwife for five years, Hilary Rorison said midwives did not expect any presents, although they were always appreciated.

"The birth of a baby, the birth of a mother, the birth of a new family is one of the most significant events a family can experience," Mrs Rorison, from the Australian College of Midwives, said.

"Being with a family through that is a little bit magic, and one of the most amazing experiences you can support a family through.

"The fact that you thought about giving your midwife any gift is more important than what you actually give - it really is the thought that counts!"

Over the years, she has received many lovely gifts including cards, chocolates, baby photos, flowers, wine and nice hand lotions. 

She suggested finding out if your midwife has any special interests and tailoring a gift to them like an athletic store voucher, their favourite wine, a gift card to a day spa or vouchers to the zoo or cinema to share with their family.

Midwife for 15 years Debra Wakefield said heartfelt cards and messages were her most cherished gifts.

"I do what I do because I want women and their birth support people to feel strong and empowered by their birth - I don't do it for gifts of financial merit," Ms Wakefield said.

"To take the effort to write, or to send a card with a baby photo is the best gift I could ever receive."

"Describing how I was able to help them through the most life-changing day of their life, giving them a sense of pride and achievement in what a couple can do when they work together to bring new life into the world."