As a prenatal chiropractor, we are often asked for recommendations for birth providers. For our practice members who are looking for a natural birth, we recommend partnering with a midwife.
What is a midwife?
According to the Midwives Alliance of North America:
“Midwives are the traditional care providers for mothers and infants. They are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies, have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period. Midwives provide women with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs.”
The Midwifery Care Model is a woman-centered, empowering model of maternity care based on the belief that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.
The majority of midwives earn bachelor’s degrees, then work as registered nurses and go back to school for a two- or three-year master’s degree program in midwifery. They are qualified health care providers who receive comprehensive training and must pass an examination to become certified.
The practice and credentials related to midwifery differ throughout the United States.
Why we recommend midwives
They encourage natural birth and support the mother after pregnancy. midwives tend to spend a lot of time with patients, have relatively few patients who require Cesarean sections and also encourage medication-free deliveries. They care for mother and infant after birth as well.
What does a midwife do?*
*The services of a midwife depend on the certification and licensing credentials obtained and the practice restrictions of each state.
A midwife can provide an array of health care services for women including:
- gynecological examinations
- contraceptive counseling
- prenatal care
- labor and delivery care
- newborn care
- menopausal management
Benefits of using a Midwife
One of the main reasons women decide to use a midwife is to experience childbirth as naturally as possible.
According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, benefits of receiving midwifery care include:
- Decreased risk of needing a cesarean
- Reduced rates of labor induction
- Reduced use of regional anesthesia
- Decreased infant mortality rates
- Decreased risk of preterm birth
- Increased chances of having a positive start to breastfeeding
- Increased satisfaction with quality of care
How is a Midwife different from an OB/GYN?
Midwives are looked to as the experts in normal pregnancies and midwifery is often referred to as low tech, high touch. Although midwives use technology like fetal monitors, they rely most heavily on their clinical experience. As a profession, OB/GYN’s have a different set of skills that train them to manage high-risk pregnancies and to perform surgery, so there is a perception that physicians are more likely to intervene in the birth. Although a midwife might assist in the operating room, they can’t perform C-Sections.
- Is vaginal birth a priority for you?
- Do you want your caregiver with you during labor?
- What are your plans for pain management?
- Do you want (or need) additional support as you transition to parenthood?
- Are you high-risk?
If you had a Cesarean section with your first child, a midwife may still be an option for your second baby—even if a C-section has been recommended. Midwives don’t perform surgery, but you can certainly discuss with your OB-GYN or midwife the possibility of a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC).
Looking for a Midwife in Altamonte Springs/Orlando?
There are many wonderful midwives in the Orlando region and we suggest interviewing several so that you can find the midwife that best fits your needs. From personal experience, we highly recommend April Williams of Natural Design Midwifery.