What is a Midwife and What Do They Do?
Midwives undergo training to be able to assist obstetricians and gynecologists with a variety of exams, procedures, and treatments. The level of training they receive determines what they’re legally allowed to do for a patient. Some of the most common ways that midwives assist women are by performing pelvic exams, pap tests, and helping the patients determine which forms of birth control are right for them. Women who want to give birth at home or experience a medication-free birthing experience often turn to a midwife for help.
A more detailed list of what a midwife can do is included below:
- Prenatal care including blood work and ultrasounds.
- Caring for pregnant women and newborns.
- Providing after-pregnancy care.
- Educational services concerning fertility, reproductive health, nutrition, and lactation.
- Family planning including birth control.
- Breast examinations.
- Pap tests.
- STI screenings.
- Vaginal infection and disease screening.
Certified nurse midwives work in a variety of settings, including medical clinics, birthing centers, hospitals, and patient homes. Asking questions of a midwife helps women understand the professional’s background and credentials. It allows them to learn what can and cannot be done by the midwife.
What are the Different Types of Midwives?
There are many types of midwives including Certified Nurse Midwives or CNMs who have a graduate degree, Certified Midwives or CMs with a Master’s Degree, Certified Professional Midwives or CPMs who have certifications that allow them to work in birthing centers or client homes, and unlicensed or lay midwives that are self-taught or obtained their training through an apprenticeship.
Questions to Ask a Potential Midwife
Knowing more about the midwife you’re considering hiring to assist you with your birth is imperative. That’s why you should take the time to interview them to get a feel for how they operate. To help make the process quick and easy for you, we’ve created a list to help acquaint you with the midwife and their practices.
Here are some of the things you’ll want to know before committing to using a midwife’s services:
- Are there specific places I can deliver my baby?
- Where did you get your training and what did it involve?
- How long have you been working as a midwife?
- Do you know how many births you’ve been present for to date?
- Do you honor a specific set of values concerning childbirth?
- What are the tests and screenings you use for pregnant women?
- Do you accept my insurance?
- Do you have a working relationship with an OBGYN?
Knowing the answers to these questions can be a gamechanger. They help women choose the right midwife to meet their needs. They have an understanding of how the professional can assist them during their pregnancies and the deliveries of their children.
A Midwife Can Be of Great Assistance to You During Your Pregnancy
Midwives have been practicing for centuries. Learning what you can about them ensures that you’re exploring all of your options during your pregnancy. If you’re interested in working with a midwife, it’s important that you learn which is best suited to your needs and how they can help you achieve the ideal birthing situation for you.