Whether you are expecting your first baby or your third, ensuring you get the right prenatal care is essential in helping keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. A midwife can provide a range of care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, as well as once your baby is born. If you are considering whether a midwife could be the better choice for you, read on to learn more.
When choosing prenatal care, an obstetrician or a midwife tends to be the main options. Although both midwives and obstetricians are trained professionals who provide medical care, support, and guidance in areas such as prenatal care, labor and delivery, their roles can be quite different. Factors such as pregnancy risk factors, the type of delivery you would like, and personal preferences will determine which type of care is best suited to your needs.
Midwives are specialist nurses that focus on the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth. They can also provide postnatal support, such as help with breastfeeding. Additionally, a midwife may offer other services, such as family planningand preconception care.
Obstetricians are doctors who specialize in delivering babies and providing medical care to women during pregnancy, labor, and after birth. They are also typically trained in women’s reproductive health (gynecology). Obstetricians are highly-skilled in managing complex or high-risk pregnancies and births, and in performing interventions, such as cesareans.
There are factors to consider when deciding which is the best option for you, and in some cases, you may need to work with both a midwife and an obstetrician.
Highly-trained in prenatal care, labor, and delivery
Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) have considerable expertise in general nursing, as well as midwifery and hold degree-level qualifications and accreditations. They provide a comprehensive range of primary healthcare services for women during pregnancy, such as conducting comprehensive assessments and physical exams,making diagnoses, and providing treatment for common pregnancy-related problems like morning sickness and acid reflux. They can also order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests and prescribe medications for controlled substances and medical devices, making them a great choice for healthy expectant mothers.
Holistic pregnancy care
During pregnancy, a midwife will focus on providing holistic care to help itgo as smoothly as possible. They can provide techniques and advice to help prepare expectant mothers for labor and birth, and make diet and lifestyle recommendations to promote a healthy pregnancy. They can also recommend the most effective therapeutic solutions to help with pregnancy-related problems, such as morning sickness, acid reflux, fatigue, andbackache.
A more natural approach to childbirth
A midwife can be a great choice for expectant mothers who are looking to take a more natural approach to childbirth.This is because midwives typically prioritize natural pain management techniques during labor and delivery. They have received expert training in supporting women during labor and birth, and can provide a range of techniques to help you give birth as naturally and as safely as possible – without the need for medical intervention unless absolutely necessary.
A midwife has your best interests at heart. They will be there to help you through each stage of your pregnancy, labor, and childbirth experience, and will work with you to fulfill your goals and preferences wherever possible. This may include your preferences around pain relief during labor, birth position, and the type of birth you want. A midwife will be with you throughoutthe labor and delivery process to ensure it goes smoothly and safely.
A midwife is not just there to see you through your pregnancy and birth, they are also there to provide postnatal care to help you with the early stages of motherhood. This can include support with breastfeeding, recovery after birth, and advice on taking care of your newborn (such as how to change a diaper, how to hold and wash your baby, and how to safely buckle them in their infant car seat).
Additional midwifery services
In addition to providing support throughout pregnancy and childbirth, a midwife can also offer other beneficial services. This can include family planning advice, health promotion, disease prevention, individualized wellness counseling, and preconception care.
Obstetrician-led care for high-risk pregnancies
Midwives are highly trained professionals who can effectively guide you through thepregnancy, labor, and delivery process. However, there are a number of factors that may make obstetric care necessary to prevent complications and to ensure you deliver your baby safely. These can include:
Choosing the right healthcare providers
If you have other professionals involved in your healthcare, a midwife can work effectively alongside your obstetrical and healthcare team to ensure you receive optimal comprehensive care throughout your pregnancy and childbirth journey. If you are planning to use a midwife, just be sure that the one you choose is part of a combined medical team, or that they are able to consult with an obstetrician if and when necessary.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of using a midwife before, during, and after pregnancy, visit Dekalb Women’s Specialists Gynecological and Obstetrical Care. We provide comprehensive obstetrics care and midwifery services to ensure you receive the high-quality prenatal care, screenings, and education you deserve.