I have dared to call myself the ‘czlowiek odrodzenia’. This is a play on words in Polish as it means both ‘renaissance person’ and ‘person for birthing’. I am certainly the latter, as I have already assisted at the birth of almost two thousand babies. For 23 years I have also been guided by the idea of a ‘renaissance’ in birthing techniques. During these years I have attended all kinds of deliveries–some that were easy and some that were very difficult. I have learned when nature should be left alone and when it is better to turn to modern medical procedures.
I began my career as a midwife in the Zakopane Municipal Hospital, thus in my young years I was able to indulge both a passion for my work and a love of the mountains. In addition to climbing in the Tatras and attending deliveries at the hospital, I also worked with young people to prepare them for parenthood and to support them in difficult moments. My interest in issues of family life then led me to enroll in the Family Studies Institute in Łomianki near Warsaw, from which I received a master’s degree in 1997.
After finishing my studies, I was employed by the St. Sophia Specialist Hospital (presently the Żelazna Medical Centre) in Warsaw. I currently work in the Maternity Ward and at the Birthing Centre, welcoming successive children into the world, teaching new generations, and preparing couples, through classes, for birth.
As to my private life, I have a husband, Jerzy, and a daughter, Melania—my only child, although in my heart there would have been room for more. Melania ‘did not come easy’, as they say, thus I particularly appreciate this gift of motherhood. We try to live in close contact with nature. In summer especially I live a double life, part-time in Warsaw and part-time in the countryside, in a house that belonged to my Granny Zuzanna, along with a cat and many mice. There in the country I grow organic vegetables, make preserves, pickle cucumbers, and gallop about the woods and fields on horseback. Then I clean the dirt from under my fingernails, get in the car, and change back into an urban midwife (although not too urban—I almost never wear high heels).
Through my close contact with nature and my long years of working with women I have gained an increasing respect for the laws of nature. Just as I admire the force and solidity of wind and cliffs, I like to sense the fortitude of a woman who is bringing her child into the world. My aim is to communicate to people my fascination with this natural event, to help women believe in their own strength and men to appreciate the power of women.
1994 - Completion of vocational medical studies for midwives in Warsaw
1997 - Master’s degree in family studies, specializing in psychology, from the Academy of Catholic Theology
2004 - International lactation consultant diploma
2008 - Bachelor’s degree in midwifery from Warsaw University of Medicine, the Department of Health Sciences
In addition, I have completed courses:
– for instructors of birthing classes
– for family and community midwives
– in pediatric first aid and resuscitation
– in water births
I have also participated in international conferences for midwives (Midwifery Today). Since 2007 I have coordinated the training of midwives in the Maternity Ward of St. Sophia Hospital and have participated as a speaker and leader of workshops at various national midwifery conferences and in other hospitals.
In 2012 I was awarded a bronze Medal for Long Service by the President of the Republic of Poland for my many years of work in midwifery.
I am an active member of the Well-Born Society and would like to encourage everyone to donate 1% of their taxes in support of our activities.
Magdalena Witkiewicz – człowiek od rodzenia