A midwife is a health care professional that can provide the following services to women: medical histories and gynecological examinations, contraceptive counseling, prescriptions, and labor and delivery care. Providing expert care during labor, delivery, and after birth is a specialty of midwives. Care with a modern midwife is a combination of the guiding, healing hands of one’s most trusted advisor and nurturer and today’s knowledge, science and medicine.
What services do midwives provide?
A qualified midwife provides comprehensive prenatal care, guides labor and birth, and cares for newborns. The services of a midwife depend on the certification and licensing credentials obtained and the practice restrictions of each state. Because of the additional licensure in nursing, a nurse-midwife can offer the most comprehensive array of health care services to women.
What are the different types of midwives?
Midwives are qualified health care providers who go through comprehensive training and examinations for certification. Certification is offered by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) and the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). The practice and credentials related to midwifery differ throughout the United States. Below is a brief description of each of type of midwife:
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM): an individual trained and licensed in both nursing and midwifery. Nurse-midwives possess at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM): an individual trained in midwifery who meets practice standards of the North American Registry of Midwives.
Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM): an independent individual trained in midwifery through a variety of sources that can include: self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, or a college/university program.
Certified Midwife (CM): an individual trained and certified in midwifery. Certified midwives possess at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
The Birthing Center of New York employs certified experienced midwives in its practice. We take a friendly, quiet, natural approach to our pregnant women and provide them with compassionate support during their pregnancy, labor and thereafter.
The Birthing Center of New York team supports the normal, physiological processes of birth while listening to, understanding and supporting each woman’s unique needs. We strive to use various measures during labor to minimize unnecessary intervention. Each woman’s pregnancy, labor and delivery are unique and requires a specific approach for comfort, pain relief and support of the natural birthing process. At New Life Wellness, we personally care for each individual woman’s needs never treating her as simply a “holding vessel” for her baby.
This combination of knowing the medicine and providing a nurturing environment for the women is what sets midwives apart from most doctors.
- Promote a continuous and compassionate partnership between the women and the care giver
- Provide individualized methods of care and healing
- Provide Non-intervention in the normal processes of birth and knowing when to provide additional medical assistance to maintain the health and well-being of the mother her unborn child
- Appropriate use of interventions and technology for current or potential health problems
- Consultation, collaboration and referral with other members of the health care team as needed to provide optimal health care
- We affirm that midwifery care incorporates these qualities and that women’s health care needs are well-served through midwifery care.
Midwife or no midwife? That is the question.
Pregnancy care and childbirth is not about the hospital. Pregnancy care and childbirth is not about the person attending your birth. Pregnancy care and childbirth is about YOU!! It’s about what you need. It’s about what you want. It’s about calming your fears. It’s about talking with you, not at you.
It’s about having the childbirth experience that most women want, but few seem to have. It’s about doing things your way in a safe
and supportive environment.
Midwifery and Pregnancy Care
Midwifery seeks to provide pregnancy care and support the normal, physiological processes of labor and delivery while also listening to and supporting each woman’s unique needs. Midwives strive to use various support measures during labor, minimizing unnecessary intervention. As each woman experiences labor differently, we try to incorporate any number of coping strategies from positional changes, continuous labor support, use of a birthing ball and breathing exercises to pharmacological pain relief.
The midwifery model of care makes the woman and her life the central focus of prenatal care. A large part of the midwife’s attention focuses on the pregnant woman as a unique person, in the context of her family and her life. The midwife is interested in the woman’s expectations and experience of her pregnancy, her comforts and discomforts, her desires, decisions, and actions, and the effect of all these on her pregnancy, fetus, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, postpartum recovery.
Pregnant women need a lot of information, and some need help and support to recognize and change aspects of their lifestyles or circumstances that put them or their babies at increased risk. Midwives emphasize helping women make changes conducive to a healthy pregnancy, baby, and family.
When considering a health care provider who will best meet your needs, keep in
mind that the midwives of New Life Wellness not only focus on maternity care, but also on the full range of a women’s health needs. We provide care starting with a woman’s first period until menopause, plus all the important health events in between such as:
- General health care services
- Annual gynecologic exams/pap screening/breast exams
- Family planning needs
- Diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
- Care during teenage years
- Care for pregnancy, labor, birth and post-partum
- Peri-menopausal care
Read: Midwifery Myths