While the majority of pregnant women choose an obstetrician to oversee their pregnancy and deliver their baby, there is still a growing number of moms-to-be who elect a midwife. A midwife can be an excellent option for the right woman. Knowing the facts about midwifery can help you determine if this is the route that is more suitable for your personal preferences as well as your specific clinical needs.
Here are some facts about midwives that you should know upfront:
A midwife has received formal medical training. Unlike a doula, whose role is primarily a childbirth coach, a midwife carries specialized training as a nurse to provide physical exams, sutures, newborn care and more. Certified Nurse Midwives have a master’s or doctorate degree in nursing and are required to pass a national certification exam.
A midwife may not be best if you are a high-risk pregnancy or need a C-section. If you know you or your baby will most likely need extra medical care during labor, it is advised that you choose an OB in a hospital setting rather than a midwife. However, you may elect to have your midwife work closely alongside your OB if you wish.
A midwife is ideal for women who want a more natural or alternative approach to traditional childbirth. By using midwifery, pregnant women have more options and control in their labor and delivery experience. Many choose a more “hands off” method with limited pain management. Some may even want to labor in their own home or birthing center.
A midwife offers services beyond labor and delivery. A less known advantage of choosing a midwife is that they will provide care before and after your baby has arrived. In fact, midwives are available through your entire pregnancy until your postpartum period has ended.
Still not sure if midwifery is right for you? We can help you decide. At North Pointe OB/GYN, we give women a full range of options for pregnancy care and childbirth, including a team of certified obstetricians as well as highly qualified midwives. Schedule your consult today.