Midwifery is a branch of obstetrics that is not in competition with the medical system. They simply help women to have additional assistance, advice and care from someone that is entirely focused on them. Midwives provide a one-on-one level of care that is not available from a traditional OB-GYN. Here is what they can and what they cannot do.
How Midwives Help
A midwife will discuss the pregnancy with the expectant mother and help her to understand what she will experience during each stage. They may visit the patient at home to determine how they are managing emotionally and may attend doctor appointments and even childbirth classes with the parents to gain a complete picture of how the pregnancy is progressing. The midwife will also help throughout the pregnancy in a number of ways.
- They monitor basic vitals like blood pressure and weight.
- They work with the mother to write a birthing plan.
- Midwives explain the available options if problems arise during the pregnancy.
- They attend and assist with a vaginal birth and may assist the OB-GYN if a c-section is needed.
- They provide support following the birth to help the mother adjust to her new role.
Common Midwife Restrictions
A midwife typically is a professionally trained medical specialist. Many are RNs with advanced education in childbirth or pregnancy. They generally have years of experience in the field and are well known to others in the medical community. They offer a lot but there are some things that an expectant mother will require that means using a clinic and obstetrician.
Many pregnancy medical tests require access to equipment the average midwife does not have. This includes genetic screenings, STD testing and more. Women that want to give birth at home and keep the pregnancy as simple as possible should still have all of these tests performed for the safety of their child. Midwives are also limited in what they can during a high-risk pregnancy.
Women still receive individual care even in situations where a midwife must back away and allow an OB-GYN to take over. Midwives are an additional advocate for the mother during a period of time where they are often at their most vulnerable. Women that wish to have a midwife at their side should do so even if their pregnancy requires additional medical intervention.