I just talked to the future grandmother, who has been up with her daughter all night. They speak Quiche, and she told me that in this idiom, one of the words for "midwife" is the equivalent fo "buyer, negotiator", since she is the person to negotiate the cost of the new life on earth. In the Mayan legends, "Iyom(?)" means grandmother, and also refers to the midwife, who has a big responsibility for the baby to be born.
No wonder the current politics on midwife education are not very successful... they do not take into account the standing of the midwife in the community and the respect she is owed traditionally.