When you’re pregnant, one of the many decisions you must make is what type of healthcare professional you’ll work with. Some women prefer doctors, while others look into midwife options. A midwife is a professional who assists women throughout pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum, providing physical as well as emotional support and care. Here, learn about four types of midwives to help determine which one is right for your pregnancy needs.
Understanding Various Midwife Roles
Doulas don’t provide medical care. Instead, they help expecting mothers create birth plans, such as whether to deliver at home or in a hospital, while providing information and advice on pregnancy and labor. They also offer emotional and physical support during childbirth, including helping the mother breathe and relax as much as possible. Doulas additionally provide breastfeeding assistance and help new moms adjust to life with infants.
Like doulas, lay midwives are not medical professionals but undergo training in pregnancy and labor. Lay midwife certification guidelines vary by state. For example, in New York, any individual providing midwifery services must be licensed and meet all educational requirements. These professionals typically deliver babies at home or in birth centers instead of hospitals.
Direct entry midwives receive training in the Midwifery Model of Care through apprenticeships, college programs, and midwifery schools. They’re independent practitioners offering comprehensive prenatal care services and attend home and birthing center deliveries.
These healthcare professionals receive hospital-based training in both midwifery and nursing, and are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. They usually practice in hospitals and clinics but still assist in birthing centers and home deliveries. And while they cannot use forceps and vacuums or perform cesareans, their extensive training allows certified nurse midwives to assist women in any delivery setting.
If a natural birth is right for you, contact Home Birth with Love. Based in Suffern, NY, the team serves residents across Rockland, Orange, and Westchester counties, as well as New Jersey’s Bergen County. Owner Leah Marinelli is a certified nurse midwife with nearly 20 years of home birth experience, so you can rest assured that your experience is as professional and as compassionate as possible. Call (845) 641-5058 today to schedule a free consultation and discuss a home birth option.