Questions About Midwives
Aren’t medical doctors more experienced in complications?
Yes. And midwives will refer their clients to medical doctors when the rare complication occurs. But most women do not benefit from the medical model of care. A model that treats every woman as a patient. Women are subjected to testing, screening and often serial ultra sounds, all looking for potential problems. This pathological approach seriously undermines a pregnant woman’s emotional well-being. The message is that childbearing is dangerous and her body is not capable of conceiving, growing and birthing her baby safely without all the testing.
What qualities are found in a good care provider?
Each woman will have different needs. A good care provider is willing to modify their services to fit the individual. You should feel comfortable with your care provider, being able to openly discuss your concerns and wishes together. A good care provider will celebrate this joyous experience without personal fear of pregnancy and birth. A good care provider is humbled in the perfection.
How do I find a qualified birth attendant?
Midwives may be listed in your phone book, but ask around to see if there are other midwives in the area. Ask at the local health stores, farmer’s markets, La Leche League, Chiropractors or other homebirth families. Call pregnancy support centers, clinics, and check the internet. Talking with several midwives will help you find the one that is right for you.
Are there different kinds of midwives?
Yes. A certified nurse midwife (CNM) acquires a masters in nursing then completes a midwifery program. CNM’s often work within the medical model attending births in the hospital but may also work independently attending in birth centers or at home. A direct entry midwife may carry the initials LM - licensed midwife, CPM - certified professional midwife, or no initials calling herself a traditional midwife or lay midwife. Direct entry midwives are not nurses and usually attend births only at home. Some have completed courses at midwifery schools or through correspondence courses, others through years of apprenticing with senior midwives.
Is midwifery care a good option?
Yes. Most midwives follow the Midwifery Model of Care - a model that focuses on the individual. Midwives specialize in normal childbearing. Counseling and encouraging their clients to focus on their well-being to ensure a normal pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Midwives have been supporting birthing women since the beginning of birth. Midwives are mentioned in some of the earliest recorded history.
The health of mother and baby are a vital concern to any care provider. Your midwife should provide you with a standard schedule of all prenatal testing available. This should include an explanation of why they are done, what benefits and risks they present, and what additional testing you may need to have if you have any positive results. If a midwife does not do prenatal testing, she will be able to refer you to a care provider that can.