The process of having a child is one of the biggest challenges we face in life. It is important to know that for women this is both a difficult and painful experience to go through. At Craig Ranch OB/GYN, we employ certified Nurse-Midwives to help with pregnancies, teenage years, Menopause, and other various healthcare services.
What Is A Midwife?
A midwife is a trained professional with the education and skills to support women in the healthiest possible pregnancy and birth experience. Midwives provide care that is focused on the individual and her emotional, physical, cultural, and spiritual needs. This traditional practice that is centered around the empowerment of the mother has been common in countries around the world that demonstrate optimal mother and infant outcomes.
What Do Midwives Do?
Midwives can provide a wide range of care, from family planning to prenatal care to birthing support. In our modern medical model, midwives are integral to collaborative care between doctors, medical staff, and our patients. The relationship that we have with our midwives is built on respect for the unique set of skills that they bring to patient-centered care.
Throughout a woman’s pregnancy, her midwife can:
- Evaluate the baby’s position, growth, and overall health
- Provide support regarding nutrition, exercise, and general wellness
- Discuss and schedule routine tests
- Advise on labor options
- Assist with a personalized birthing plan
Birthing assistance provided by a midwife may include:
- Provision of pain relief as outlined in the birthing plan
- Monitor the progress of labor, including baby’s heartbeat and other vital signs
- Emotional and physical assistance to facilitate the birthing plan
Benefits Of Midwifery
Research demonstrates that women who birth with a midwife are less likely to undergo medical interventions such as a C-Section than those who birth solely with a medical doctor. However, it is also important to note that statistics indicate equally good fetal and maternal outcomes when comparing physician- or midwife-assisted births.
Some of the benefits that patients may receive from midwife care include:
- Help developing their personal birthing plan
- Advice regarding healthy living before and during pregnancy
- Face-to-face discussion about needs and concerns
- Discussion of alternative birthing opportunities such as showering or walking during labor
- Active presence during childbirth, easing emotional stress
- Postpartum care that may include support for breastfeeding and newborn care
Types Of Midwives
There are three professional credentials a midwife may obtain to practice in North America. These include Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM), and Certified Midwife (CM).
Nurse midwives earn a nursing degree and then go on to obtain addition training such as a Master’s degree in midwifery. Nurse midwives can assist births in any setting, including hospitals and birthing centers as well as home births.
Certified professional midwives and certified midwives are what we call “direct entry” professionals. These providers do not have a nursing background, though they may have a background in some area of health care. The Certified Professional Midwife is a provider whose training focuses on out-of-hospital settings.
All of the midwives in our McKinney, TX facility are Certified Nurse Midwives with extensive training in various prenatal and birth situations.
Education Of A Certified-Nurse Midwife
Certified nurse-midwives are educated and trained in both midwifery and nursing. They obtain a graduate degree, complete a program recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, and must pass a national examination to qualify for the professional title of CNM by the American Midwifery Certification Board.
CNMs are required to satisfy specific criteria for the American College of Nurse-Midwives, or ACNM, once their training is fulfilled. All services they provide must be in accordance with ACNM Standards for the Practice of Midwifery.
To retain their CNM designation, midwives have to undergo a re-certification process every five years as well as take continuing education courses.
Midwives Vs Doctors: What’s The Difference?
There are several types of midwives, all of which receive training that is different than an OBGYN. The obstetrician/gynecologist has completed four years of medical school followed by four years of medical residency that includes surgical training. Additionally, a multi-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology is completed. The focus of medical training may center on necessary medical interventions to assist with pregnancy and childbirth.
Midwifery also focuses on the reproductive care of women. However, there is a broader focus on the emotional needs of the mother throughout her pregnancy and labor. This focus extends beyond childbirth to include assistance with breastfeeding. We could describe the midwifery approach as low-tech and high-touch.
Although a midwife may use certain technologies, such as a fetal monitor, most rely heavily on clinical experience as they care for their patients.
The skillset of the OBGYN is vastly different than the midwife. Doctor’s have the training and ability to intervene in the birthing process as needed, such as using forceps or vacuum. The OBGYN also has the capacity to manage high-risk pregnancies and to perform surgery if necessary.
Midwife Birth Experience At Craig Ranch OB/GYN
Certified nurse-midwives, also known as a CNM, provide a wide variety of health care services to benefit women. Their focus is a woman’s health needs from the teenage years through menopause. The services a CNM offers typically involve primary care, gynecology and family planning. In addition, they also assist during pregnancy, delivery and following childbirth. CNMs are also trained and qualified to provide care for normal infants during their first four weeks, as well as treating sexually transmitted diseases in both male and female partners.
Services Provided By Our Certified Nurse-Midwives In Mckinney, Texas
Most midwives care for patients that are pregnant and assist in the delivery of newborns, however, they are certified to perform various medical evaluations and diagnosis. Additional responsibilities may include:
- Physical examinations
- Prescribing medications such as birth control, antibiotics and pain relievers
- Admission of patients to a healthcare facility
- Management and discharge of patients in a healthcare facility
- Ordering various imaging and laboratory tests and assessing their results
- Instructing in general good-health practices and the prevention of disease
- Providing personalized wellness care
Most midwives work in a hospital and private practice settings alongside physicians, but may also offer care in many other settings, including ambulatory care clinics, public health systems, birth centers and within the home.
“This office is awesome! All the Doctors are so caring and really take their time with their patients. They addressed all my concerns and I did not feel rushed at all. The office is beautiful and so clean. The office staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. I could tell they all enjoy their jobs. I highly recommend Craig Ranch OB/GYN.”
“I love this place! They are never late to take you back and appointments are quick and easy. They are super knowledgable and the office is spotless. The doctor is so welcoming and listens to any concerns you may have.”
Can All Pregnant Women Have Midwives?
It is said that midwives are experts and normal, healthy pregnancies. A woman with a high-risk pregnancy will most likely require a physician’s care.
Why Do I Need A Prenatal Visit?
Prenatal care is an important aspect of a full-term, healthy pregnancy. Studies show that a lack of care during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight threefold. The risk of mortality among these babies is five times higher than babies born to mother who receive consistent prenatal care.
The purpose of prenatal visits is to monitor the progress of pregnancy; to ensure adequate fetal development as well as mother’s health. The evaluations and tests performed during pregnancy can lead to the early detection and treatment of health problems.
What Are The Concerns Of Using A Midwife?
Midwifery has been a common practice for centuries. Modern midwifery is a combination of nursing education and traditional intuitive methods of attending to prenatal and labor needs. The concerns of using a Certified Nurse Midwife are nearly nonexistent. The professionals in our practice are an important part of the broader care team. You can trust that your midwife will prioritize your needs and desires for your personal birth plan while also maintaining your and your babies safety.
Will The Midwife I See In Clinic Deliver My Baby?
As much as possible, we strive for consistent care with the same provider. However, the world of childbirth is unpredictable and the timing of your birth may put you in the hands of a midwife who has not conducted the majority of your prenatal visits. The training and experience among our midwife staff are very similar, and you can expect the same degree of personal attention and emotional soothing from any midwife who attends your birth.
Where Can I Deliver A Baby When I Have A Midwife?
Midwives can attend births conducted in hospitals, surgery centers, and birthing centers. Some midwives are trained to assist with home births, as well. Our Certified Nurse Midwives have the necessary accreditation to attend births in our affiliated facilities.
What Are My Childbirth Delivery Options With A Midwife?
One of the primary reasons our patients may choose to deliver their baby with a midwife is that they desire a drug-free experience. Midwives have particular experience integrating various pain relief strategies into labor to help women deliver without epidural or other anesthetic. The methods employed by a midwife are also known to decrease the risk of episiotomy, tearing, C-section or other medical interventions. At the same time, our Certified Nurse Midwives know when to seek medical intervention when necessary.