I had a midwife during my pregnancy and I adored her. In my experience, midwives offer a more casual, relaxed...
I had a midwife during my pregnancy and I adored her. In my experience, midwives offer a more casual, relaxed point of view, and tend to be more open to natural birthing methods. It's not across the board, but midwives are a great choice if you want to lower your risk of labor and birth interventions, get more personalized care, and gain better educational benefits - i.e midwives have been shown in studies to spend more time per patient in general and more time teaching their patients about labor and birth options and issues. If you're looking for a midwife... ACNM: ACNM-certified midwives come in two flavors - certified nurse midwife (CNM) or certified midwife (CM). ACNM has a specific set of nationally accredited training that all midwives go through. Most ACNM midwives have at least a bachelors degree, but many (estimated 70%) hold masters as well. ACNM midwives can work in hospitals, birth centers, and some do home births. Certified: Certified professional midwives also go through a specific training (by the North American Registry of Midwives). Lay or direct entry midwives: These midwives usually train under a mentor or apprenticeship situation. They may attend workshops, classes, and other formal instruction as well. Which to choose?: Honestly, a lay midwife can be just as qualified as an ACNM midwife. While an ACNM midwife may have had formal training, a lay midwife could have attended far more births. In the case of midwives I think it's best to one, choose the title that makes you comfortable. Some women just won't feel safe at their birth unless it's attended by a midwife with a degree. You don't need a degree to be a good midwife, but if the degree makes you feel safe, you should choose that type of midwife. Two, you should go by the person. Not all midwives suit all personalities. Just because you have a midwife, it doesn't mean she (or rare cases he) will be on board with all your ideals. Make sure you interview your potential midwife and spend some time getting to know her. Stuff to keep in mind:
- Not all states feel that midwifery in all shapes and forms is legal. If you want a midwife, you'll need to check on your state's specific laws surrounding midwives and, if you're interested, home birth.
- If you have complications, there's a good chance your pregnancy will be turned over to an OB vs. a midwife. Midwives do not perform c-sections and usually don't take on higher risk patients. It's smart to ask who will be your doctor in case you do have to switch.
- Spiritual Midwifery
- Giving Birth: A Journey Into the World of Mothers and Midwives
- The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
- Mothering Magazine's Having a Baby, Naturally: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
- Heart & Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy & Birth
- Diary of a Midwife
- Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife