Midwives are health professionals who are trained to help healthy pregnant women. They assist throughout the pregnancy, during labor, and after giving birth to your baby. A midwife may deliver your baby at home or in a birthing center. However, most of them are qualified to deliver babies at a hospital.
Most women who prefer midwives are those that have had no difficulties during pregnancy and require minimal medical intervention. In some cases, doctors do not recommend midwives unless they are under their direct supervision. This may be the case if you are giving birth to twins.
The four main types of midwives are:
On top of completing nursing school, these midwives also have a graduate degree in midwifery. They can write you prescriptions in all states and offer other primary and reproductive healthcare. They can provide their services in birth centers, homes, and hospitals, among others.
These midwives work exclusively outside of hospital settings. This can be in birth centers and homes. In their training, they complete the coursework, apprenticeship, and the national exam. Currently, they can practice in 33 States.
While these midwives have the same training as CNMs, they have a background in a field of health instead of nursing. They take the same American College of Nurse Midwives exam. However, they are currently only licensed to practice in some States.
These midwives do not pursue midwifery licensure in the U.S. but still help birthing women in home settings. They have varied training and backgrounds. In most cases, they provide their services to specific communities such as religious or indigenous populations.
During pregnancy, your midwife will provide you with antenatal care if you intend to give birth in a birthing center or at home. They will check your child’s growth, position, and health while helping you prepare for labor and birth. They will assist with routine hospital bookings and checks too.
During labor and birth, your midwife will give you information and emotional support as they monitor your progress. They closely monitor your child’s heartbeat and other signs to ensure everything is okay.
Also, they can administer pain relief or bring in a doctor to do it. With uncomplicated births, a midwife is sufficient to see you through the whole process. In case of complicated births, the midwife will call an obstetrician for assistance.
Immediately after birth, you and your baby will be in the care of your midwife. They will check for excessive blood loss, need for stitches, and signs of other complications. They may call in the doctor if this is the case. They will also assist you with settling and breastfeeding your baby, give you pain relief, and do some newborn screening.
Midwives play an important role in healthcare by lowering the maternal mortality rate. Their services also make you feel more comfortable in your preferred place of giving birth. If you have decided to use a midwife, you should opt only for the best.
For more information on what midwives do, or to book the best midwife services for yourself, visit Partners in Obstetrics & Women’s Health at our office in New Lenox, Illinois or call (815) 240-0554 today.