Having a baby can sometimes be more complicated than what color onesie to buy. With an increase in natural and organic trends, midwives have gained popularity in the pregnancy world. Before completely ruling out an obstetrician, you should know the difference between them. Here are some basic facts about midwives to get you started!
There are two types of midwives.
Midwives are trained to work with low-risk and uncomplicated pregnancies; they believe in little medical intervention during birth, unless absolutely needed. The certified nurse midwife (CNM) has a medical background in nursing, and is trained to be a midwife. CNM’s usually help in the hospital setting, and are the only midwives legally able to practice in all 50 states of the U.S.
The certified professional midwife (CPM) has no degree in nursing, but does have the training necessary to become a midwife, and is found commonly at a birthing center. Midwife training involves written exams, in addition to hands on experience. Many midwives are required to have home or birth-center labor experience to be certified, but certification varies from state to state, along with accreditation.
Why the sudden popularity?
There are a few reasons people are starting to use midwives, and one of the most popular is the growing rate of cesarean sections being performed during labor. Midwives believe in being patient with the natural progression of labor, and don’t use medical techniques to speed that up without specific need. Epidurals and labor inducement are not encouraged, and are replaced with natural pain reducing techniques like a walk or massage. Midwives often do not even choose to monitor throughout the entire process, but just do quick check-ups every few hours.
What is right for you: obstetrician or midwife?
Below is a table demonstrating the differences in midwives and obstetricians to help you better understand which is right for you!
|Always have multiple years of midwife training.
Usually have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Sometimes have clinical nursing experience.
|Always have four years of medical training and another four years of training to be a surgical medical doctor.|
|Only able to work with normal pregnancies that have no complications.||Have the skillset to intervene in dangerous pregnancies to keep the baby and mother safe.|
|Offer counseling for more than just labor. They also help with nutrition and exercise that can benefit both you and the baby.||Maintain only a medical relationship with the patient.|
Deciding if a midwife or obstetrician is right for you comes down to what you want to get out of your pregnancy. If you wholeheartedly believe natural is the way to go, and that it won’t impact the health of you or your baby, then a midwife may be right for you. But if your pregnancy has a high risk of complication or other problems, obstetricians can help. Being aware of your options and doing research about what method of birth is right for you is a step in the right direction for a happy and healthy pregnancy.