As more and more people are becoming aware of some of the long-term effects of what can happen due to things like cesareans, epidurals and other medical procedures and medications that oftentimes take place during a woman’s labor and delivery, some are opting to take a more holistic approach by hiring a midwife.
There are a lot of theories (and misconceptions) about what being a midwife means, but basically midwives are health care professionals that can provide many pregnant women a variety of services during her pregnancy from gynecological exams, prescriptions and labor and delivery care. They must be licensed to practice (although there is what is known as “lay midwives” who are informally trained”). Yet, what tends to make them unique is that they are very committed to taking very natural routes in how they handle pregnancies and the birthing of children.
Are There Different Kinds of Midwives?
It might surprise you to know that there are actually several different kinds of midwives. There is a certified nurse midwife who is licensed and trained in both nursing and midwifery. They hold a bachelor’s degree (some even get their online masters nursing degree) and must also be officially certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives. There’s a certified professional midwife who is trained to practice the standards of the North American Registry of Midwives. There’s a direct-entry midwife who studies through a school, apprenticeship, self-study or all three. And, there is a certified midwife who has a bachelor’s degree and is certified through the American College of Nurse Midwives.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Midwife?
There are many benefits that can come with opting for using a midwife during pregnancy. One of the main ones is that there are a myriad of studies that support the fact that there is a much lower rate of cesarean and other interventions during childbirth and labor when people use a midwife. Another real plus is that they tend to be cheaper than traditional medical care. Also, there are more birthing options available (such as experiencing labor at a birthing center, in a pool or even from the comfort of your own home) and the recovery time for mothers following labor and delivery has been known to be much quicker. Also, many women who go with a midwife tend to also have higher success rates when it comes to being able to successfully breastfeed their child.
How Do You Find a Midwife?
Some people do not use midwives because while they have heard of them before, they are not sure where to look or how they can get proper referrals. Midwife.org is a website that can provide you with more detailed information about what a midwife does and how you can become one. CFmidwifery.org will offer you statistics on midwifery based on the state that you live in along with resources and up-to-date news. They can also help you to find midwives who are located right within your city.
Whether you wish to become a midwife or use one during your upcoming pregnancy, it’s definitely an admirable field and it’s certainly not a waste of your time to do some deeper research into the field. When it comes to birthing children, you definitely want the best care possible. Midwives seek to provide just that.