Midwifery is a practice that dates back to the earliest civilizations. Traditionally, midwives were older, female members of their communities who helped women during pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. Although their roles and responsibilities have shifted a bit throughout history, midwives continue to provide women with the care they need throughout the child-bearing cycle.
If you are currently expecting and are curious about the benefits of working with a midwife, continue reading below to learn more about how they can help you during family planning, pregnancy, and beyond.
How Midwives Aid in Family Planning, Pregnancy, & Childbirth
Care & Services
A midwife can aid in all stages of pregnancy, childbirth, and family planning. This includes assessing a woman’s fertility levels, monitoring their health throughout the pregnancy, and developing a birthing plan. Midwives also assist during natural and vaginal deliveries and often work alongside gynecologists and OB-GYNs.
The training for this position ranges from vocational to highly formal. Some midwives, known as direct entry midwives (DEM) earn their experience through apprenticeships and typically only assist in home births. Certified midwives (CM) and certified professional midwives (CPM) receive formal training from an accredited college or university, are recognized by the American College of Nurse Midwives, and can work independently or within a clinic. Finally, Certified nurse midwives (CNM) are licensed to practice both nursing and midwifery and have received a formal college education. CNMs often go on to become nurse practitioners and can operate their own clinics.
Childbirth & Post-Natal Care
Midwives specialize in home-deliveries and natural births. They work with expectant mothers to establish a birthing plan and technique which allows for a vaginal delivery without the use of induction or pain medications. After the delivery, a midwife can continue assisting the new mother for up to 28 days. During the post-natal period, they work with the mother to master breastfeeding and neonatal basics, while also monitoring the mother’s physical and emotional state.
Is This the Right Healthcare Provider for Me?
A midwife is ideal for any woman who is planning a natural, vaginal delivery and would like a more natural approach. Women who are planning to have C-sections are not assisted by midwives during the delivery, however, they can work with them during and after the pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy and you are planning to work with a midwife, choose one who is affiliated with a local hospital or OB-GYN clinic to ensure your complete care.
For more information on midwives and other OB-GYN services, contact Greece OB-GYN, LLP. This Rochester, NY-based women’s health clinic specializes in obstetrics and gynecological care including family planning, contraceptives, and prenatal care. To learn more, visit their website or call (585) 225-6680 today to schedule your appointment.