“What is a midwife, and why should I use one for my birth?”
This is a question that’s frequently asked by people who aren’t familiar with birthing options outside of a standard hospital birth.
A midwife is a trained health professional who provides gynecologic and reproductive healthcare throughout the lifespan and helps healthy women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Midwives can deliver babies at home, at a birth center, or in a hospital, depending on the needs and desires of the families they work with.
Here at HeartSpace, we follow the Midwives Model of Care, which is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal physiological life processes. By providing individualized education, counseling, and evidence-based health care to women, midwives minimize costly and medically unnecessary interventions.
Studies show that women cared for by midwives, when compared to women of the same risk status care for by obstetricians, have higher breastfeeding rates and lower rates of cesarean birth, induction, augmentation, regional anesthesia, and third and fourth degree perineal tears. Midwives and OB/Gyns are experts in their respective fields of practice and often collaborate with each other based on the high-risk or low-risk needs of their patients.
Midwives don’t just care for women during childbirth and postpartum; they provide gynecological or reproductive health care from puberty to menopause. Women are at the center of their individualized health care and learn preventative health care skills from midwives that last a lifetime.
The World Health Organization did a study that determined women who worked with midwives had healthier families for years to come. The study found that women applied preventative health care skills learned by midwives to their families’ health care needs and reduced their risk of chronic illness over a lifetime. Nearly 50% of adults in the US have at least one chronic illness. I say this is reason enough to find a midwife.
Many women don’t even realize that midwifery care is available to them but once they know their options they often choose this type of care.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to use a midwife:
More personalized and individualized care. Each HeartSpace appointment is an hour long, giving you ample opportunity to ask questions and gather information. We want you to feel supported in your process. We recognize that each family is unique and needs individualized care.
Empowerment. This is your baby, your body, and your birth. We respect your decisions. Our job is to educate and inform you so you can make the best possible decisions that work for you and your family. Each family has its own needs and priorities. We help you identify what those are and come up with a plan to support your decisions.
Whole family care. Midwifery care is not just about mom and baby. The whole family is a part of the birthing process – partners, other children, friends, and family. We strive to integrate your existing support systems with our care.
You want a natural birth. Many of our clients come to us because they want a natural, non-interventive birth. Our job is to empower you to find the path through pregnancy and birth that makes the most sense for you and your family.
We hope you found this article informative! If you’re in the Capital Region and interested in home birth, we encourage you to reach out and get in touch.
Is home birth right for you? Check out this article to see if you’re a good candidate.