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What Should I Look for in a Midwife?

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a spike in women choosing to have their babies at home with the assistance of a midwife. This spike is a good thing, because midwifery is a worthy alternative to a hospital birth, and it can alleviate some of the stress on the medical system itself, especially with low-risk pregnancies.

If you’re one of the many people new to midwifery, you might have questions about how to find a midwife that’s a good match for you. In this blog, the team at Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery explains what midwives do and the qualities you should look for in one.

Midwives and OB/GYNs

Both midwives and OB/GYNs are trained and experienced in labor and delivery. OB/GYNs go through traditional medical school programs, while midwives are nurses who complete a graduate program and become certified in their field. They’re then called a certified nurse midwife (CNM).

Beyond education, the biggest difference between the two is with high-risk pregnancies. If an emergency C-section or another surgical intervention is deemed necessary, only a doctor can perform these procedures. However, CNMs are well able to handle most areas of labor and delivery.

Midwives and pain medication

One of the biggest misconceptions about midwifery is that they’re opposed to the use of pain medication during delivery. While this is certainly true for some, CNM’s like those at Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery can prescribe medication and administer epidurals. If you strive to have a medication-free birth, make sure you discuss this when selecting a midwife.

Midwives and natural childbirth

Because midwives aren’t allowed to perform surgeries, midwives often look to more natural remedies before jumping to medical intervention. From prenatal care to breastfeeding after birth, make sure your midwife understands your health goals

You should make sure you and your midwife share philosophies on labor induction, augmentation, emergency C-sections, and other medical procedures.  

Midwives and control of the delivery process

OB/GYNs are more likely to dictate your pregnancy on standards set by their hospital or practice. Although you obviously have choices with an OB/GYN, midwifery offers you a chance to take a lead role in directing your pregnancy and delivery, even with a hospital delivery.

A midwife is also more likely to remain alongside you throughout the entire labor and birthing process. They are generally not pulled in as many directions as an OB/GYN and are able to give you their full attention and support. 

And because midwives offer prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care, you may be able to bond with them and feel more comfortable. Be sure to discuss these issues when looking for a midwife.

Do you want to see if a midwife is right for your pregnancy journey? To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery today.

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