Finding a Midwife Who's Right for You

Labor and Delivery With a Midwife

Part of the midwife's job is to stay by the woman's side during labor and delivery, providing her with physical and emotional support. Regardless of how long the labor lasts, a midwife should be committed to putting the mother's needs first and not rushing the process.
However, this does not mean that the midwife lets the mother suffer throughout labor. She is there to help the mother cope with the contractions naturally using various methods. Home births usually involve nonintervention methods, which means the midwife should be trained to deal in the gentlest ways to assist with labor and delivery.
Midwives are trained to avoid episiotomies, vacuum/forceps deliveries, and C-sections. They will use their experience and training to help ease labor naturally, such as massage and other techniques that will help ensure you and your baby's health and safety.
(Click Are Home Births Safe? for more information on the relevant statistics and the risks and benefits that may apply.)

What Does a Midwife Do After Delivery?

After helping to deliver your baby, a midwife still continues to give you support during your postpartum time. She can help with breastfeeding techniques and provide tips on caring for your baby. A midwife can also perform basic newborn checkups and screenings as required by your state. You can work with your midwife on what you may need during that time after your baby has arrived.

Final Thoughts

Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives agree that ensuring the safety of childbirth and a woman's health is a shared goal that should be reinforced by obstetrician-gynecologists, certified nurse-midwives, and certified midwives. Both institutions believe that healthcare is most effective when it is facilitated by communication among care providers.
Obstetrician-gynecologists and midwives are considered to be educated, trained, and licensed providers that should work together to meet the individual needs of expectant mothers. Although the ACOG and ACNM hold different positions on home birth, they both agree that each woman holds exclusive rights in regard to where and how she wants to give birth. By becoming educated in the risks and benefits of the various birth options, expectant mothers can determine what's in their best interests and what fits their wants and desires.
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