Call the Midwife!

June 21, 2017

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Many of you have expressed interest in my choice to have a midwife deliver my last baby and have questions and misconceptions about midwives. The number one question I got from people when I told them I was seeing a midwife was "are you having a home birth?" (NO), followed by "can you have an epidural?" (YES). So today I want to address some of your questions, and to start I have a guest post mom! She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist (which means she has a Master's Degree in Nursing) with more than 35 years of OB/GYN experience and she offered to provide some background information about midwives. I plan to share my personal experience with a midwife on Monday, so be sure to come back for more! If you have any questions please drop them in the comments of this post or email me at thegirlintheredshoes@gmail and I'll be sure to answer them for you!

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So now, I'm going to let my mom explain a little more about midwives!

Midwives are are excellent providers of health care services for women. Many people think of a midwife only as someone who assists women choosing to have a home birth. While some midwives do participate in home births, the majority do not. Many women do not understand the services midwives provide or the advantages of seeking care from a midwife. One area of confusion is the difference between a midwife and a doula. A midwife is a licensed and certified medical professional who provides total care for you during the prenatal period and the birth of your baby. A doula is not licensed or trained to provide clinical care. A doula is trained to be a support person and to advocate for you while you are in labor and during the birth process and the postpartum period. They DO NOT provide nursing care, medical treatment or deliver your baby. 

In the United States, the majority of midwives are Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) working in coordination with doctors providing care to women in clinics and hospitals. Greater than 95% of births attended by midwives occur in hospitals.

A CNM is a Registered Nurse with graduate education (Master's Degree) in midwifery. CNMs are trained to provide women's health care from puberty through menopause. They provide a level of care that is more personal and focused on the whole woman. Compared to doctors, midwives are likely to be less formal, to spend more time with you, and to provide education and support specific to your concerns. If you choose a midwife to provide care during your pregnancy, your midwife will work with you to identify the childbirth experience YOU desire and to provide the care and support you need to achieve your desired birth experience. Midwives approach pregnancy, labor and birth as normal processes and do not routinely use medical procedures if there is no clear need for them. The midwifery model of care is strongly supported by current research.

The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) is the professional organization that has developed guidelines for safe childbirth based on scientific knowledge, coordination of care between health team members and active involvement of women and their families. Visit the ACNM website for more information about midwives.

My experience with a midwife coming your way on Monday, so stay tuned! 

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11 Responses to “Call the Midwife!”

  1. I had a midwife for both of my children and absolutely loved the experience. Both of my kids were early and having my midwife there made me so much more comfortable! I can never say enough good things about them and hate that they are often so misunderstood.

  2. How awesome to have someone so knowledgable about birth and babies. Can I call her when the time comes for us ;)!

  3. I had a midwife deliver both my boys and had awesome experiences! Here in Portland, midwives are much more common and almost everyone I know who has delivered out here has used a midwife in the hospital or at a birth center. The hospital I delivered at is actually a teaching hospital where they have one of the top CNM programs in the country and so throughout my prenatal appointments and at both my deliveries, there was a midwife student present (which was actually awesome during the delivery because it was an extra support!) Irs also why I think there are so many midwives in Portland - many of them come out here for school and love it and don't want to leave, so they just end up finding jobs out here and all the hospitals here have big midwife groups. I just love the philosophy and approach to birth!

  4. I love this post! I always wanted to know what the differences were. My friend recently had twins and she said her midwife made it all so much easier. Can't wait to read about your experience!

  5. Great post about clarifying what a midwife is! I was fortunate enough to have the same midwife for all three of my pregnancies.

  6. Your mom is so full of knowledge! I remember your previous posts about labor, delivery, csections, and nursing. I've learned a lot from those posts!

  7. Thank you for the information. If we ever decide to have a third I'd love to have a midwife. I can't wait to read your update.

  8. Midwives are great choices for healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies. It is very important to distinguish a CNM from a lay midwife. A lay midwife would not be allowed to deliver a patient in a hospital because she has no education or degree to be doing so. She has no formal training whatsoever. Just like you would research your obgyn, you should also research a midwife. The safest deliveries are the ones done at a hospital or birthing center attached to the hospital so that on the small chance that something goes badly ( and trust me, stuff can go really bad really quick) you have a friendly obgyn and neonatologist just down the hall to help out. If you are at a freestanding birthing center and something goes wrong, that time while you are waiting for the ambulance to get there, drive to the hospital and get you to L&D just might be too much. A CNM can be a great choice!!!! Thanks for all the info.

  9. I love learning more about the different roles of midwives and dispelling some of the myths as to all that they do!

  10. I have always gone to a midwife! She has been with me since I was 17 when I started my yearly exams and she delivered both of our babies... one naturally and one via c-section. I wouldn't have it ANY other way. She was incredible!

  11. I had midwives deliver all 3 of my kids. As a nurse myself, I was more comfortable with a fellow nurse and I also appreciated having them in the hospital.


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