When it comes to having a baby, an increasing number of women are choosing to work with midwives. These significant, valuable healthcare providers offer excellent care in many cases. In fact, a lot of women taken care of by midwives and/or doulas wind up with better outcomes than women without them. So while midwives, just like doctors, have to be monitored and carefully surveyed in order to protect patients, they do offer a variety of advantages to expecting moms, such as:
- Holistic Care: Midwives typically focus on the whole patient - not only her physical well-being, but also her psychological and social health. Since it is more than a physical body experiencing pregnancy and childbirth, this sort of care can be comforting and helpful to patients.
- Minimal Interventions: The core philosophy of midwifery is built on the idea that delivering a baby is a natural thing, a normal process that is part of life. For this reason, midwives seek to help the mother listen to her body and aim to minimize medical intervention as much as possible. Women who have babies with a midwife are typically able to receive fewer injections or episiotomies, undergo less anesthesia and have a better chance of delivering vaginally instead of via Caesarean section.
- Personalized Attention: Many women like the level and length of attention they receive from their midwives, who often provide longer, more personalized prenatal sessions. What’s more, midwives offer education, counseling and support throughout pregnancy and even after with postpartum support. For some women, midwives feel like supportive, compassionate friends - the kind of friends you know you can count on while you’re in the midst of labor.
- Expert Training: While old stereotypes may have considered midwifery antiquated, today’s midwives are highly trained. They undergo significant schooling before working with patients. Certified nurse-midwifes (CNMs) are registered nurses with master’s degrees or certificates in midwifery, for example. What’s more, they deal with pregnancy, labor and delivery every day, so they gain specialty knowledge after years of field experience.
- Location Flexibility: Some midwives offer flexibility regarding where their patients will deliver, be it at a hospital, a birthing center.. This can help patients feel more in control, as well as more at ease, laboring in an environment on their choice. Wherever the birth occurs, there should be a competent provider nearby to handle emergencies.
In many hospitals today, delivering a baby with a midwife is easier than ever - but no matter where a birth happens, you have to make sure you there’s a competent provider nearby who’ ready to manage emergencies. As long as a healthcare facility makes its setting amenable to patients in ways like these, they will continue to improve the way women give birth.