May 05, 2021
See a Midwife for Pregnancy & Birth? Yes!
By: Cara Terreri | 0 Comments
May 5 is International Day of the Midwife -- the perfect day to tell you about the kind of care midwives provide for families in pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
Your care provider has a big impact on your pregnancy and birth outcomes. If you're planning on choosing the OB or doctor you've always gone to for gynecological care for no other reason than familiarity, it's important to take a second look at your provider through the specific lens of prenatal care preferences. You just might discover a preference for the midwifery model of care!
Most people who give birth in hospitals are low risk and perfect candidates to give birth under the care of a midwife. The UK reports that midwife-led care for people with uncomplicated pregnancies is safest and healthiest. Yet, in the United States, only around 9% of births are attended by midwives!
Midwives aren't just for home or birth center births, either. About 95% of midwives in the United States attend births in hospitals. Midwives in hospitals in the United States will mostly be Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) and in some locations, Certified Midwives (CM). CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) is the designation given to midwives who serve homebirths. (Learn more about the difference in types of midwives.)
What Kind of Care Can You Expect from a Midwife?
- Midwives use a personalized and compassionate approach to caring for families in pregnancy and birth. Their care model is one that places a high value on partnership and acknowledges a person's own life experiences and knowledge.
- Midwives regard pregnancy and birth as normal life events and use a "watchful waiting" approach in normal processes. They provide care based on best medical evidence and use interventions (like induction, cesarean, pitocin, etc.) only when needed for true medical reasons.
- A midwife respects and advocates for the normal course of labor and birth -- that is, a midwife allows birth to happen on its own without interfering unnecessarily, unless there is a problem and it is safer to intervene.
- A midwife encourages and works well with support people at your birth including your partner/spouse, family member, and/or a doula.
- When a medical procedure is needed, a midwife works to ensure families are informed to make the decision that's right for them.
- Midwives consult, collaborate, and refer out to other members of the health care team when needed in order to provide the best care for families.
- Midwives can improve rates of premature birth, interventions used in birth, breastfeeding, and length of hospital stay.
- People with low-risk pregnancies may be best served by a midwife.
- Midwives can provide 87% of the care needed by parents and newborns.
To learn more about the midwives in your area, seek practices with midwives and schedule an introductory appointment to see if midwifery care is right for you. Take these helpful interview questions with you to make a more informed decision.
TagsMidwifery Care Midwife International Day of the Midwife Midwifery