Using a midwife has become a popular way to have a baby in the United States. Midwife use has doubled over the past 20 years, and although only 7.5% of women nationwide choose a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), those who do so often love the experience. Why? Midwives approach childbirth differently than the rest of the medical community.
What a Midwife Offers
Although the image of a midwife might be for a savvy, trained-by-experience older woman from the backwoods or a free-spirited hippie, modern midwives are registered nurses who have studied two more years for a CNM degree in midwifery. They are trained to provide holistic care that takes into account a woman’s needs. They see childbirth as a natural phenomenon and focus on making it a normal event that should be conducted with dignity. Midwives believe in using technology when necessary, but find that most women can give birth without the discomfort, risk, and disruption that extra procedures may impose.
Midwives serve women who have vaginal deliveries, while leaving Cesarean sections and more difficult deliveries to obstetricians in a hospital setting. Studies show that with the use of a midwife, cesarean section rates are reduced by more than 50% without compromising patient safety. Considering that Cesarean sections can be traumatic, costly events, reducing the need for C-sections benefits both mother and baby.
Midwives Let Nature Take its Course
Midwives realize it takes time to let nature take its course during childbirth. They often encourage labor with walking or different positions, and they are prepared to let labor proceed slowly. Obstetricians often intervene in long deliveries by inducing labor.
What happens in the labor setting is the culmination of months of a holistic approach that stresses diet and well-being. During pregnancy, the midwife becomes more like a friend who is concerned with how you are feeling. While she will monitor the condition and growth of the baby during pregnancy, she will also take the time to answer all the questions that you might have so that you will understand all the changes in your body. As your delivery time draws near, she will discuss with you the type of birth experience you want to have, whether you want a natural birth with no medication or one with an epidural to ease your pain a bit.
Choosing Your Birth Site
Our midwives manage their patients’ deliveries at one of our five hospital birthing centers. Should you or your baby have any complications that require an obstetrician or other specialist, or the technologies available in the hospital, you will have the comfort of knowing these services are available.
If you are interested in learning more about how a midwife can help you throughout your pregnancy, Rocky Mountain Women’s Health Center can help. Our staff includes both midwives and obstetricians committed to making the birth of your baby a positive experience.