When you hear the term ‘childbirth,’ what comes to your mind? Well, most women have been socialized to take childbirth as a painful event. When you hear this term, you associate with pain. You imagine a woman lying on her back in a small hospital room, surrounded by hissing machines and nurses shouting “push!” Birth has always been associated with pain and danger. The assumption people have out there is that the only way to get through this pain is by having trust in doctors and taking drugs as prescribed.
If this is the image you have been having in mind since you were a small girl, then its time you changed your mindset. It is time you shifted your birth experience with nurses and doctors, and try working with a midwife.
If you listen to an experience of a mom who has given birth in a hospital, you will be horrified. Chances are, you will even fear to have a child. However, the experiences of moms who have given birth in the hands of professional midwives will provide a different story, that of intimacy, love, care, and ease. Having this conversation is something that will change your perception about giving birth, but you will have to confirm it yourself by placing yourself in the care of a midwife the next time you get pregnant.
Who is a midwife?
Before we dive into the reasons why you should choose a midwife during your labour and after giving birth, it is prudent to understand who a midwife is.
Essentially, a midwife is a professionally trained health worker who helps healthy women at the time of their labour, during delivery and gives them medical assistance after they have given birth. Midwives are flexible and can help you deliver your baby at home or in hospital. However, since you might need some specialized medical help during delivery, most midwives prefer to operate from hospitals.
What does a midwife do?
- Just like a doctor, a midwife can perform several duties including;
- Providing preconception and family planning care
- Carrying out order tests and prenatal examinations
- Advise on the diet, medication, and work out activities to engage in during pregnancy for you to stay healthy.
- Help in making birth plans
- Give practical and emotional support during labour
- Help you deliver your baby
- Admit you to a hospital when need be, and discharge you when the time comes
- Refer you to a doctor when the need arises
- Educate you about pregnancy, childbirth, and how to take care of your child after birth.
Benefits of having a midwife
Experienced obstetricians and midwives in EMOG could tell you that there are mainly five important benefits to have a midwife;
# 1. Improving birth outcomes
The midwife model is known for its success in improving birth outcomes. According to World Health Organization, midwives contribute to pleasurable birth experiences, and they help a great deal in lowering the rate of premature birth.
By having a midwife during the birth of your child, you can stay lest assured that you would indeed have a healthy baby fast, and you will take pleasure in the whole experience. Your birth outcome will not only be determined by having a natural birth, but you will also have the opportunity to take all the horror stories you hear about giving birth as myths and misconceptions.
# 2. You can choose your birth setting
Imagine a birth model that will allow you to choose where you want to have your baby. Do you want a homebirth? No problem! With a midwife, this is something that you will easily accomplish. However, it is important to note that not all midwives will agree to help you have your baby at home. Honestly, only a few will agree to this. The reason behind many choosing to assist you in a hospital is because in some instances, your body might fail to respond to their techniques, and they might be forced to refer you to a doctor or admit you for some time as you undergo specialized treatment.
Also, do not put your life and that of your unborn child by choosing to have your midwife help you give birth at home. Going to the hospital will be a prudent and life-saving decision for you.
# 3. You enjoy undivided attention
Unless you are the only woman giving birth in a hospital, which is highly unlikely, you will not receive much attention from your GYN during labour and delivery. Instead, you will be left in the hands of nurses and nursing assistants, who at times can be unfriendly to you. If you choose a midwife, the attention will be undivided. She will focus on you until you give birth, making the process less stressful for you. She will be able to offer professional support and will answer all your queries promptly.
# 4. You get longer prenatal visits
Your obstetrician or GYN is a medical doctor, meaning that he needs to take a lot of time tending to many patients. This means that when you go for a prenatal visit, you will have to spend a few minutes and leave. However, with a midwife, the case is different. The job description of a midwife is clear – taking care of pregnant women and their babies. For this reason, you will spend a lot of time with your midwife, and a strong bond will develop during the pregnancy period. This relationship will pay off in the labour and delivery room when the time comes since you will get a comfortable birth experience.
# 5. Your maternity costs will be reduced
Even if you have the best medical insurance, medical bills can run to thousands of dollars. Midwifery care can considerably reduce your medical costs by helping you avoid unnecessary interventions. Furthermore, some midwives accept insurance; hence allowing you to cut costs even further.
Five questions you should not forget to ask your midwife
To be sure you are working with the best, ask your midwife the following questions;
- What are your training, certification, and experience, do you have any referrals?
- How many patients have you helped in your career?
- Do you deliver at home or in a hospital?
- If you deliver at home, what is your backup plan in case of an emergency?
- Do you accept insurance?
Midwives are fantastic professionals to work with, especially if you are a low-risk woman. However, if your doctor has identified you as a high-risk woman, try as much as possible to work with an OB or Gyn. Good luck with your delivery!