Certified nurse midwives specialize in providing care to women and their babies throughout pregnancy as well as the postpartum phase. Midwives believe in a sense of community and in nurturing camaraderie between women and their healthcare providers. They want their patients to feel confident in the care they receive, and they go above and beyond to ensure that they provide top-notch services, whether that involves routine checkups and exams or pregnancy-related care.
For the most part, certified nurse midwives work in conjunction with gynecologists and obstetricians to provide women of all ages with the care they need. While they typically specialize in pregnancy, midwives can also assist in performing annual exams and providing guidance in a number of areas, from family planning to newborn care. During pregnancy, midwives are involved throughout the entire process, from your first prenatal appointment to your six week postpartum checkup.
Midwives have become quite ubiquitous, and these individuals can be found throughout the women’s health care community, from hospitals and clinics to alternative birth centers and similar facilities. Midwives believe in a personalized and more holistic approach. If your goal is to embrace a natural childbirth experience, a midwife may be precisely the type of provider for which you’re well suited.
Although its true that midwives are often more closely associated with pregnancy and newborn care, CNMs can actually provide a myriad of different services for their patients. These include:
For most women, gynecological examinations are encouraged on an annual basis. Many GYN/OBGYN practices employ midwives as a a part of their team. Along with gynecologists, these individuals are also highly trained at providing thorough routine care and services, such as pap smears and physicals. Many patients enjoy the approach and care of midwives as these providers are often known for their compassionate, personalized approach to health care.
Midwives can also provide guidance in the areas of pre-pregnancy planning. They can offer you suggestions and recommendations on how to prepare yourself both mentally and physically for pregnancy and for the role of “mother”. CNMs can help you to determine whether you have any health issues that may need to be addressed prior to pregnancy, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. They will review your family history with you and discuss any concerns you have. If you’re a smoker who requires help with quitting or you’re currently taking prescription medications that may pose a problem during pregnancy, midwives can provide you with the assistance you need to find alternative solutions. Not only this, but midwives can guide you in developing more healthful eating habits and exercise regimens so that you can stay in great shape throughout your pregnancy.
Midwives are also able to provide detailed prenatal care throughout the entire pregnancy. Like obstetricians, certified nurse midwives can offer you the exams and evaluations necessary throughout the prenatal stage. Typically, women will see their midwife approximately once a month until their 32nd week, twice a month until the 36th or 37th week, and then once a week thereafter. This is to ensure that you and your midwife can prepare as needed for the birth of your little one.
Labor and delivery assistance
Midwives are not only able to provide you with prenatal care, but they can and do deliver babies as well. Midwives are experts in the realm of labor and delivery and can help you to get through the process whether you’re interested in a medicated or a natural childbirth experience. Midwives will continue to check you throughout labor to determine that you are progressing well and that the baby isn’t under any unnecessary stress and when the time comes, they will be there to deliver your baby and help you to welcome them to the world.
The role of the midwife certainly does not end after the birth of your baby. Midwives play a crucial role in both you and your newborn’s care following delivery. These professionals are well versed in a number of areas including newborn care, postpartum health, as well as breastfeeding. Midwives continue to care for postpartum women up until their six week appointment, and can answer a myriad of questions you might have regarding a number of topics, including nursing, postpartum depression, and other issues. They can even provide you with guidance regarding family planning options.