Patients of Grace Obstetrics & Gynecology benefit from personal care that caters to their preferences, including whom assists them with their labor and delivery process. This person could be one of our experienced physicians, or a qualified certified-nurse midwife.

What is a Certified-Nurse Midwife?

A midwife is a time-honored healthcare professional with training to provide gynecological and obstetric services. The word itself translates to “with woman,” and is indicative of the midwife’s continual care beginning even before pregnancy and supporting a woman through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and her postpartum period.

What Do Midwives Do?

Certified-nurse midwives are trained and certified in all areas necessary to support women’s health. The partnership between a woman and her midwife may include well-woman care, prenatal counseling, and pregnancy services. A midwife has the education and experience to detect potential complications, plan and perform vaginal births, and to assess and care for newborn and mother in the moments after birth. These abilities complement a midwife’s awareness regarding the necessity for medical care during an unforeseen delivery complication, and her motivation to obtain such care from available medical staff.

What Type of Services Do Midwives Offer?

Nurse midwives have the expansive educational background and licensure to provide the most comprehensive variety of services among all types of midwives. Some of the common services that may be obtained from a nurse midwife include:

  • Routine gynecological exams
  • Preconception care
  • Prenatal care to include nutritional and exercise advice
  • Support during labor and delivery
  • Assistance with newborn care to include breastfeeding support

Can I Still Deliver at a Hospital if I Have a Midwife?

Yes. Midwives hold the licensing and privilege requirements to conduct deliveries in birthing centers and hospitals. Women who feel more comfortable delivering in the hospital setting, with its immediate availability of sophisticated medical interventions, may still choose to partner with a nurse midwife in preparation for the birth experience they wish to have.

What is the Benefit of Having a Midwife?

One of the primary reasons that women choose to partner with a midwife for prenatal care and labor and delivery is that they wish to have greater participation in the process, coupled with fewer interventions. Midwives are primarily focused on assisting women through a healthy pregnancy and natural childbirth experience, and offer a wide variety of strategies for pain management during the birthing process.

According to studies, midwife-assisted births have:

  • Fewer instances of C-section interventions
  • Reduced induction rates to accelerate labor
  • Less use of local anesthesia
  • Lower risks for preterm birth
  • Lower rates of infant mortality
  • Fewer perineal tears
  • Greater success with breastfeeding
  • Higher patient satisfaction

Do I Need a Midwife?

Because midwives specialize in natural childbirth processes, many women interested in fewer interventions choose care from this healthcare provider. We are happy to speak with you personally about the scope of practice for midwifery, and your preferences for prenatal care.

Some of the reasons that women choose to obtain prenatal care and birth assistance from a midwife include a desire for ongoing support through the labor process and greater availability for strategies that support natural childbirth. These include breathing techniques and position changes to facilitate the movement of the fetus into and through the birth canal.

When is a Midwife Not an Option?

Midwives have the training to consult, collaborate, and refer to an OBGYN when needed, even in high-risk pregnancies. Midwives can co-manage pregnancy complications and still have involvement in care.

Previous Cesarean section in which a horizontal incision was made does not exclude a woman from considering her options for VBAC with a certified nurse midwife, provided no other risk factors present a risk for pregnancy or birth complications.

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