Professional Midwives Provide Excellent Care for Mothers and Babies

5 May

In honor of the International Day of the Midwife 2016, let’s celebrate the excellent and compassionate care they provide to mothers and babies.

Compared with physicians caring for similar healthy women, professional midwives offer women more prenatal visits and spend more time counseling and educating expectant mothers about pregnancy nutrition, childbirth and sexuality. Their patients are less likely to develop prenatal or intrapartum hypertension and are less likely to be hospitalized for prenatal complications.

Midwives recommend fewer inductions of labor. During childbirth, midwives  socialmedia-English-IDM2016-skyscraperencourage and support freedom of movement, walking during labor and upright positions for birth. Mothers are free to eat and drink.

Midwives are less likely to use medical interventions during childbirth. To augment contractions with pitocin, break the bag of waters, use intravenous fluids in labor, continuous fetal monitoring and pain medication. Their approach to childbirth therefore results in fewer complications for mothers. Less need for an episiotomy, instrumental birth (use of vacuum or forceps), and 3rd or 4th degree lacerations.

With the midwifery model of care, women have fewer cesareans and more VBACs.

Perinatal outcomes are excellent with midwives. Compared with physicians caring for similar healthy women, mothers have fewer or comparable numbers of preterm births and low-birthweight babies. During childbirth, fewer babies experience fetal distress, birth trauma and require admission to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). At birth babies are more likely to have skin-to-skin contact, more likely not be separated from their mothers and to be exclusively breastfeeding after birth and at 2-4 months later.

Expectant mothers who choose midwives as their primary care provider really value the continuity of care, participation in making decisions and the empathy and the close relationship they develop during pregnancy and birth. They feel confident, respected and supported. Mothers also appreciate the lower cost of midwifery care.

Resources

Normal Healthy Childbirth for Women & Families: What You Need to Know

Choosing a Caregiver

Midwives Model of Care

The Mama Sherpas (video)

 

One Response to “Professional Midwives Provide Excellent Care for Mothers and Babies”

  1. Alan B Patterson MD September 11, 2016 at 3:45 am #

    I back up an excellent group of midwives who provide very good care and do appropriate VBACs. But there are some non doctors doing VBACs who do not do them at the appropriate facility , or have the appropriate backup which is a board certified or eligible OB-GYN MD or DO! And if you are going to a midwife or a doctor make sure that their success rate for VBACs is 60-80% or they are doing too many inappropriate VBACs!!!!

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