Many women choose the healthcare services of a certified nurse-midwife or a licensed midwife during pregnancy. Midwives provide many services today for women, from routine exams and family planning, to the entire labor and delivery process and beyond, to postpartum care. Some deliver babies in private homes, but mostly they deliver babies in hospitals and birth centers. Many offer childbirth classes for expectant mothers and fathers as part of their midwifery practice.
If you are in good health and your pregnancy is considered low risk for labor and delivery complications, you likely are able to choose the services of a midwife. Many women enjoy the one-on-one support they receive from their midwife. They may feel their certified nurse-midwife really understands them through all the time they spend together during exams. Midwives statistically spend more time with their patients during office visits than an Obstetrician. She may even help you figure out what kind of childbirth classes suit you best, or give you recommendations depending on what kind of birth you are envisioning.
Why Choose a Midwife Instead of an Ob-Gyn?
Some women want an alternative approach to childbirth. A midwife often will help you learn about proper nutrition, and healthy habits, during your pregnancy. She is involved throughout your care, from prenatal to postpartum.
A midwife often views this experience as a life-changing event in your life. She has been trained to understand this process as a normal and natural physiological process. Obstetricians are surgeons and are trained in the pathology of pregnancy, labor, and birth-the study of disease. Your caregiver wants you to think about and thoroughly understand all your options for the labor and delivery process. She will probably want you to create your own birth plan. These are topics and issues you should learn about in your childbirth classes.
While midwives tend to support natural un-medicated childbirth, find a midwife who will support you in whatever decisions you choose or need. Certified nurse-midwives have professional relationships with the obstetricians within the hospital or birth center in which they work, and will use their services and support if necessary.
Studies have shown that women who are healthy and experiencing a normal pregnancy will have the same great outcome using a midwife as the same healthy pregnant woman who chooses an ob-gyn. They are less likely to have a Cesarean section or other medical interventions. Women who choose midwives are more satisfied, overall, with the entire experiences of pregnancy and childbirth.
What If I Have an Unexpected Complication during Labor and Delivery?
Medical emergencies could potentially happen within even the most healthy pregnancies. But midwives are trained to recognize these complications and if she can't handle the problem herself, she has an obstetrician she will defer to for support.
Midwives are becoming increasingly popular. As more women turn to more natural, holistic approaches to health and wellness, many feel a midwife is a better choice for them, since their goal is for a natural labor and delivery.
Does health insurance cover midwifery services?
Many insurance plans do cover certified nurse-midwife, and licensed midwife (homebirth midwives) services. It is mandatory that Medicaid cover certified nurse-midwife care in all 50 states. In addition, 32 states require other insurance plans to cover midwifery care.
If you are having a healthy pregnancy and feel the philosophy and care of a midwife align with your own personal beliefs, know that using a midwife can be a safe alternative to conventional maternity care. Expect the best and have a beautiful birth day!