When I am consulting with a mother-to-be and she has not selected a health care provider or is unhappy with her current health care provider, I always encourage her to explore the idea of using a midwife for her obstetric care.
Midwives are professionals trained to provide medical care to pregnant women before, during and after birth. Midwives can also provide well-woman exams, breastfeeding education, nutritional support and basic fertility consulting. The state you live in determines how midwives are credentialed.
Many women have the misconception that using a midwife is old fashioned . Others have the misconception that midwives are only for women who pay for services out of pocket. To the contrary, midwifery care is on the rise. Many families are rediscovering the numerous benefits of working with midwives. Many insurance plans now cover midwives in hospital, birthing center and even home birth settings.
1. Longer Visits - The average midwife meeting with mothers is 45 minutes. A lot of families really appreciate the time they can spend with the midwife to discuss all of their pregnancy and health concerns. One of the top complaints of women receiving conventional obstetric care from doctors is that they feel rushed. Mothers feel valued and heard when they are treated like a person and not a number.
2. More Comprehensive Care - Midwives tend to get to know you better. They look at not just the bump on the belly, but also the entire woman. They factor in a woman's family dynamics, beliefs, and desires when delivering care. Older siblings of the unborn child are often welcomed to visits and can even play a role during the birth.
3. Flexible about Birth Variations - Midwives are professionals trained to assist a vast variation of normal births. Midwives typically have more training and feel more comfortable with variations in labor. They also can offer remedies, position changes, emotional encouragement and other techniques to help moms and babies get through labor difficulties.
4. Breastfeeding Success - Midwives offer immediate support to moms wanting to breastfeed. At subsequent postnatal visits after the birth, midwives can continue to provide direct support to breastfeeding mothers. For more acute issues, the midwife can refer the mother to a lactation consultant.
5. Low Risks and Low Interventions - If you're a mom that is considered low risk, you may want to avoid many popular interventions and medications that augment labor. Using a midwife is your best bet for having a low intervention birth. Many midwives would be open to trying herbal, naturopathic and traditional remedies before resorting to medicines (in home birth or birthing center settings). A low risk mom is in good hands with a midwife. Your midwife will be very motivated to keep the mom healthy and low risk so that she can continue to see her. The midwife typically provides more nutritional and wellness counseling to expectant mothers than doctors. Midwives are very knowledgeable in that area.
These are just some of the reasons to consider choosing a midwife. Have you worked with a midwife? What was your experience?
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Sis. Freya is the creator of RootMama. She loves encouraging women to achieve greatness.
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