A midwife is a highly trained health professional who assists healthy women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. Midwives can help to deliver babies in a number of locations and generally find that birthing centers or in the hospital to be the safest options.
Women who select a midwife to help them deliver generally wish for very little medical interventions. Most times the mother will choose a midwife if they have been pregnant before and had little to no complications previously. If you are expecting twins or triplets your doctor may not recommend a midwife unless you are under the direct supervision of a doctor.
Similar to an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB-GYN), your midwife can provide care before, during, or after your pregnancy.
Here are some of the ways a midwife can help.
- Provide family planning and preconception care
- Do prenatal exams and order tests
- Watch your physical and psychological health
- Help you make your birth plans
- Advise you about diet, exercise, meds, and staying healthy
- Educate and counsel you about pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care
- Give you emotional and practical support during labor
- Admit and discharge you from the hospital
- Deliver your babies
- Make referrals to doctors when needed
Benefits of having a midwife
Midwives are a good choice for moms with low-risk pregnancies. Midwives will also be by your side and if you would prefer to deliver without epidurals or other labor-inducing drugs – a midwife may be your preferred choice. They can however prescribe epidurals and labor-inducing drugs if requested. Keep in mind that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that the actual birth occurs on land, not in water. Currently, there is insufficient data on which to draw conclusions regarding the relative benefits and risks of immersion in water during the second stage of labor and delivery.
Midwives are known to be just as concerned about Mom’s mental health as they are about her physical health. They also can play an important role in regards to breastfeeding and lactation support before and after the baby’s arrival.
Is a midwife right for you?
It is always best to consult with your health care provider and make the decision together. Each scenario is different and the decision should be about what is best for both the mother and the baby. It is always a good idea to develop a birth plan. Take the time to prepare the questions that you do have and voice any concerns you have to your OB-GYN and to the midwives you consult with.
Here at OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we have a caring midwife on our team along with three caring physicians to help you during your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. We’d love to hear from you! Call us today if you have any questions or to schedule your appointment.