Midwives are an integral part of the women’s health care industry. They offer routine gynecological appointments and examinations as well as thorough prenatal care and assistance during labor and delivery. Many women choose to receive care from midwives as they are known for providing compassionate care to women in all stages of life, from adolescence to old age. Many midwives work alongside of an obstetrician. Nurse midwives, for this reason, are often found in private practices as well as hospitals in many cities and states throughout the country.
If you’re located in Brooklyn or the surrounding areas and you’re interested in pursuing the care of a midwife for a hospital birth, home birth, or even for regular, routine care, you should know that finding the right provider can be tricky especially if you’re unfamiliar with midwives and the licensing they must have. Finding a midwife that stands by the philosophy of midwifery is beyond important and can make all the difference in your experience. Not only this, but ensuring that the midwife you choose is legally licensed and certified is essential to both your peace of mind as well as safety.
Guidelines and Requirements for Midwives
Each state has differing rules when it comes to midwives, and New York has its own guidelines and requirements that midwives must meet in order to be able to practice. Each state requires that midwife preceptors, or instructors, be licensed and meet all requirements for practicing in that particular area. These midwife preceptors are responsible for providing midwives with the education and instruction they need to provide patients with the care they deserve.
If you’re interested in finding a midwife for a home birth, you may find the selection process to be quite challenging. Direct-entry midwives are the ones who will typically attend to home births, but you must pay close attention to their legal status. In New York State, all midwives must receive a bachelor’s degree and be trained in an accredited school for midwifery. This is the case for both independent midwives as well as those who work with an obstetrician. Nurse midwives and direct-entry midwives both fall under the Professional Midwifery Practice Act (PMPA), and they must follow the same licensing requirements. This means that you must pay great care to ensure that your direct-entry midwife for a home birth be properly licensed through the correct channels.
Before doing anything else, familiarize yourself a little with the education and licensing requirements midwives must meet. When researching around for midwives, take note of those that advertise prominently. For the most part, those that are not hesitant to advertise or to put themselves in the public eye are more likely to have all of the necessary qualifications. Additionally, take a look around and see if there is a search engine that will allow you to obtain a list of legal midwives in your area. For example, check with your insurance provider and state government to see if they can provide you with a list of local licensed midwives.
Referrals are Better Than Classified Ads
There are many places where local midwives may advertise. Many can be found in the phone book and others in health care directories and “find a midwife” websites. While these listings will certainly not provide you with a complete list of area midwives, it’s certainly a great place to start. While you’re searching, don’t forget to consider one of the most important references – word of mouth. Ask around among people you know to see if they have any positive recommendations for midwives they have worked with in the past. Friends and family are a great resource, and can help you when you’re in search of a midwife for a hospital birth or even a home birth.
Consider Extending Care with a Doula
If you’re considering a midwife to be with you throughout your pregnancy and during labor and delivery, you may also want to consider the assistance of a doula. Doulas are phenomenal at supporting both the woman and her family during the birth experience and many mothers, especially those who choose to labor and give birth at home, choose to employ a doula to lend them emotional support during the experience.
Finally, when in doubt, contact the midwifery association or organization in your state and ask them to provide you with help in finding the right midwife for your needs. They are well equipped to provide you with the guidance you need to make the right decision for you and your new baby.