Midwife: Something not for Everyone

John Fisher
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Midwives have been around for generations, helping women through their pregnancies because doctors were not always available.  Today midwives offer expectant mothers with an alternative to having a doctor deliver their babies.  For some mothers it may be a preference for having a natural birth.  Other mothers may choose to use a midwife for financial reasons. 

 

Midwives specialize in almost everything that involves pregnancies.  Some of the areas of pregnancy midwives provide mothers with help in include:

 

  • Delivering the baby
  • Physical examinations
  • Post-delivery issues, such as breastfeeding
  • Prenatal care

 

The type of midwife depends on their education level and certification which varies from state to state.  Some states require additional training and license requirements.  Generally, a:

 

  • Certified Nurse-Midwife – has been trained, and is a licensed nurse who has at least a bachelor’s degree and has a certification from the American College of Nurse Midwives.
  • Certified Professional Midwife – has been trained in midwifery and meets the educational requirements set by the North American Registry of Midwives.
  • Certified Midwife – has earned at least a bachelor’s degree and has been certified from the ACNM.

 

Some expectant mothers think of using a midwife because she wants to experience a natural birth.  She may want the birth to take place at a special birthing center or at home.  If this is the case then she may want the ongoing personalized care that a midwife can offer. 

 

Regardless of whether has decided to use a midwife; certain steps should be taken to ensure that she and the baby are well-cared for: 

 

  • Determine pregnancy risk level (midwives will handle mostly low risk pregnancies with very little chance of there being a complication).
  • Before making a decision, consult with more than one midwife.
  • Ask any midwife for references and contact as many as possible.
  • Check that a midwife has met the education and licensing requirements of your state.
  • Ask the midwives the names of the doctors they work with if they are required to work with under the supervision of the doctor.
  • Ask whether the midwife would work with a doctor voluntarily in case there was a medical emergency.
  • Consider giving birth in a hospital where a doctor will always be available in case of an emergency.

 

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.

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