Here in the US, homebirth midwives normally seek to remove and distinguish themselves from the term “obstetrics”. It conjurs images of sterile green hospital walls, episiotomies, paternalistic care, and the dreaded bed and stirrups of 2nd stage.
I recently came across the term used in a most delightful way at the Homebirth Australia site.. It’s definition most creativily defining what homebirth midwives do:
However, domiciliary obstetrics is the ‘art of invisibility’ and without complications a woman gives birth herself, supported and aided by her midwife. -Jan Pilgrim
I would love to have turned that phrase. “The art of invisibility”. Yes! A watchful eye, careful watching, gentle hands. THIS is the art of the midwife.