Historically, midwives were a common occurrence in most women’s childbirths. Today, however, will find most women choosing an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) instead. If you’re unfamiliar, it can be easy to get confused about the two.
That’s why we’ve come up with a simple guide to help answer the question of “what is a midwife?” This guide includes additional information like what they do and how they help with your pregnancy.
If you’re one of the women who are considering getting the mom-centered care of a midwife, keep on reading.
What Is a Midwife?
A midwife is a health professional that helps women during their labor and delivery. They will also offer breastfeeding and nutritional support to new moms. Midwives tend to focus on a natural birth for moms who want a low-tech delivery.
Women who choose to have a midwife at their birth instead of an OB-GYN want a birth with little medical intervention. This means no surgery, epidurals, or any medication. As midwives aren’t doctors, an on-call physician will help with complications that arise.
What Do Midwives Do?
A midwife is able to provide care before, during, and after pregnancy. For help before pregnancy, they’ll provide family planning and preconception care. They’ll even do prenatal exams, order tests, and help you with your birth plans.
During a pregnancy, midwives will advise you on staying healthy with exercise and diet. Midwives will also educate you on what to expect for your pregnancy and childbirth.
During labor, they’ll provide emotional and practical support. They’ll be the ones to deliver your baby and make any referrals to doctors if needed. They can also make prescriptions for supplements, like this one here.
Types of Midwives
There can be four types of midwives, depending on the level of education and license. The first is a certified nurse-midwife (CNM); this is a registered nurse with an additional midwifery degree. They’re qualified to work in any birth setting and also write prescriptions.
The second is a certified midwife (CM); they have the same graduate-level education. The only difference is they have a background in a health field that isn’t nursing. Only a few states allow CMs to practice.
The third is a certified professional midwife (CPM), they work outside hospitals, usually in birthing centers or homes. They’ve had training and clinical experience in childbirth and passed the national exam. They’re permitted to practice only in 33 states.
The last is an unlicensed or lay midwife. They are midwives who aren’t certified or licensed. An unlicensed midwife will have gotten informal training or apprenticeship as their education.
Everything You Need To Know About Midwives
There’s often a lot of confusion when it comes to a midwife and how they differ from an obstetrician-gynecologist. It’s important to note that midwives aren’t doctors but have had training for their field. They work with mothers that have low-risk births and want a natural delivery.
What is a midwife? We hope this guide taught you all you needed to know about midwives. If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, why not check out the rest of our site for more articles like this.