‘Midwives’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: What Happens To Sofia And Louise?

Midwives (originally titled Sages-femmes) is a touching 2023 film that unfolds the heartfelt narrative of two close friends, Sofia and Louise, who embark on their journey as midwives in a public hospital. The movie delves into the poignant challenges these passionate midwives encounter within a flawed healthcare system. As they step into the hospital, the film vividly captures the struggles they face and sheds light on the difficulty of surviving. The story explores the lives of these selfless midwives, whose dedication to their patients does not waver even when they are faced with personal battles. Midwives takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster, unraveling the profound journey of midwives who pour their hearts into their profession. It lays bare the stark reality that they care for others with the utmost compassion but often lack the support and care in their own lives. Through heartfelt moments, the film paints a vivid picture of the daily battles faced by them and emphasizes their resilience and passion for a profession that demands more than it gives. Midwives is not just a movie; it’s a poignant exploration of the untold struggles of midwives that offers a glimpse into the delicate balance they maintain between caring for others and navigating their personal struggles.

Spoilers Ahead

How Do Sofia And Louise Handle The Challenges?

Sofia and Louise, two midwives, embark on a challenging journey in the hospital. From the very first day, they started navigating the demanding and overwhelming environment of their profession. As they enter the public hospital on their first day, the duo is greeted with frustration as other midwives face the added burden of training them amidst their already hectic schedules. The strain is palpable, but their real-life friendship becomes a crucial support system amid the chaos. While Sofia receives praise for a successful delivery on her first go, Louise is faced with a personal and professional crisis when consoling a couple expecting premature twins. Seeing the couple struggling, she was devastated and had an emotional outburst. This draws criticism from her trainer, Bénédicte. She tells her how important it is to have a delicate emotional balance as a midwife in emotionally charged situations. Midwives poignantly showcases the contrasting experiences of Sofia’s success and Louise’s challenges on their first day by emphasizing the toll on midwives within the public hospital.

Sofia’s struggle unfolds as she confronts her own fears during a challenging C-section, where the mother was in severe pain and had weak contractions. The baby was born without a heartbeat, causing a tense moment. Thankfully, a pulse rate eventually appeared, bringing immense relief as the baby was saved. The intensity of the situation takes an emotional toll on Sofia, especially witnessing the father’s panic outside the operating room. Despite these challenges, Sofia remains determined and convinced that it’s her duty to save lives without taking a break. It showcases the emotional burdens midwives carry and the expectation to prioritize the well-being of parents amidst their personal struggles.

Sofia’s paranoia and internal struggles are evident in her heightened concern for a seemingly healthy baby. It showcases the mental toll of the profession, as she did not really recover from the previous day’s incident that happened with the baby during a C-section delivery. Feeling utterly devastated, she shared her grief with her friend Louise, saying that if she couldn’t support her patients, then there was no purpose in being a midwife. Her emotional turmoil revealed the depth of her distress, and she began viewing herself as a failed midwife due to some mistakes she had made. On the other hand, it also shows how Louise was gradually getting better at her job and how she was capable of handling significant responsibilities independently, like assisting in a colleague’s sister’s childbirth. This marks a turning point for Louise as she rebuilds her confidence and regains trust in her abilities. Differences in their coping mechanisms become evident during a delivery room scene where Sofia is frustrated and Louise remains composed, which highlights their distinct approaches to handling emergencies. The heartfelt journey of Sofia and Louise encapsulates the emotional and professional challenges midwives face and portrays their resilience and determination in a system that often overlooks their inner struggles.

How Does The Film Address The Issues In The Healthcare System?

Midwives strikingly exposes systemic issues within the healthcare system, primarily focusing on the challenges faced by midwives due to understaffing and a failing structure. The hospital’s critical shortage of personnel becomes very evident as one staff member highlights the overwhelming situation where each midwife is tasked with covering four patients. She further says that it is ideal to have one midwife per baby. This made the midwives agitated and prompted contemplation of a strike to address the dire staffing situation. But Bénédicte, the trainer and senior midwife, dismisses the idea of a strike by emphasizing the necessity to continue serving their patients. The underlying issue of this flawed healthcare system becomes more clear during a heated argument when Bénédicte passionately defends her commitment to her job. She reveals the extreme sacrifices she makes, such as going from one room to the next to serve her patients without taking breaks, to the point of suffering from urinary tract infections. She laments over the fact that it has been so long since she met her own son, which underscores the toll the demanding job takes on her personal life.

The film humorously portrays the financial struggles of the midwives when Louise jokingly says that she will be going to Maldives on spring break. The laughter among her and other midwives felt bittersweet, masking the reality that their salaries were insufficient for such luxuries. Instead, they find solace in small, unconventional celebrations, like sneaking pizza into the workplace or enjoying a low-key champagne toast on Christmas day. In the dressing room, the midwives share their experiences of coping with challenges. It highlights the camaraderie that they develop in the face of adversity. The discussion also reveals the acknowledgement that the night shift’s higher pay of 9 euros serves as a silver lining for them despite the hardships. But in the meantime, Bénédicte’s candid revelation about quitting her job underscores the severity of the situation, including the toll her job took on her physical and mental health, the sacrifice of her personal life, and the exhaustion from mistreatment within the profession. Midwives ends with Sofia filling in for Bénédicte by training a new midwife, which portrays the cyclical nature of their regular, mundane lives.

Ultimately, Midwives serves as a poignant commentary on the dire need for systemic change within the healthcare system. It advocates for fair treatment, respect, and better compensation for midwives by stressing that their well-being directly impacts the safety of the mothers they care for. The narrative becomes a compelling plea to rectify the flaws within this noble profession by ensuring that those dedicated to caring for others are cared for in return.

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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