What does a midwife do?
You're pregnant. Congratulations! Having a baby is one of the most delightful and exhilarating experiences of your life. These nine months may feel long so utilize this time to make some important decisions — like choosing your care provider.
While there are benefits to both obstetricians (OBs) and midwives it's important to base your prenatal and birthing care decision on your personal needs. Recently midwives have become more popular among women preferring a natural holistic approach to their prenatal care. But what does a midwife do?
What is a midwife?
A midwife is a health care provider who cares for a woman and her baby during a low-risk pregnancy birth and beyond. The majority of midwives earn bachelor's degrees in nursing then go back to school for additional training in midwifery says the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).
What does a midwife do?
Many women who desire a more personalized natural and healthy birthing experience feel a midwife is more aligned with their needs. Working collaboratively with physicians midwives provide women's health care services like routine exams family planning and childbirth classes as well as labor delivery and postpartum care. Recent studies show that midwives deliver over 9% of all hospital-born American babies.
Why choose a midwife?
- Healthier pregnancies
The Cochrane Library reports that studies have shown that healthy women with normal pregnancies typically experience the same excellent outcomes using a midwife as they do with an OB. Women who use midwifery services throughout pregnancy have decreased risks of pre-term birth and infant mortality and are often happier with their pregnancy and childbirth experience.
- Prenatal care
The Midwives' Model of Care includes monitoring your physical psychological emotional and spiritual well-being during pregnancy. Additionally they provide more focused education counseling and postpartum support says the American Pregnancy Association.
- Alternative birthing
Midwives are committed to assisting women in achieving their ideal birth experience. According to the ACNM the benefits of receiving midwifery care include fewer interventions like labor inductions episiotomies and cesarean sections.
Medical emergencies can and do happen even with in the healthiest pregnancies. Midwives are trained to identify these complications and refer you to an OB if your pregnancy or delivery becomes high-risk. Your midwife then plays a "middle woman" role.
Most insurance plans cover midwifery and some licensed midwife (home birth) services. Medicaid covers certified nurse-midwife care in all 50 states according to the ACMN.
Using a midwife can be a safe alternative to conventional prenatal care. If you're having a healthy pregnancy and the midwifery philosophy aligns with your personal priorities choose the services of a midwife and enjoy a beautiful delivery!
Reid OB/GYN has several midwives practicing in Richmond and surrounding areas. Please call (765) 962-9541 for more information.