InfoLast modified: May 11, 2012
- The value of spending time with a woman during a prenatal visit cannot be overemphasized. It lays the foundation for providing support, education and information and for building mutual trust. The concept of education and providing complete information is based on the principle that parents are qualified to make decisions concerning their pregnancy and birth. Midwives encourage women to be involved in active,ongoing participation and decision making in all aspects of their pregnancy and birth. They are committed to helping women identify areas where they can help themselves to have the healthiest possible pregnancy and birth experience. Concurrently, the time that a midwife spends with a woman plays a vital role in building trust and mutual respect. This important part of the relationship contributes to an atmosphere of comfort during the birth process and diminishes unwarranted anxiety of both parents-to-be.
- During labor and delivery, midwives provide attentive and emotional support and encourage women in the normal process of labor and birth. This may include things like showing a mother or her helpers ways to cope with pain: like getting into a tub of water, changing positions, and massage techniques. They are skilled in their ability to assist childbearing women with the least amount of intervention. Clinical monitoring at home includes listening to the fetal heart tones with a fetoscope or doppler, checking the mom’s blood pressure and pulse, and assessing the general well-being and progress of women in labor. Midwives know how to let nature take their course and are
- experienced in recognizing signs that are not “normal.” They are equipped and capable of managing a number of variations of normal, such as a mother not coping well with labor, a tight cord around the baby’s neck, shoulder dystocia, infant distress, and postpartum hemorrhage. In the event that complications arise that cannot be managed under the safe guidelines of normal midwifery care, midwives are prepared to consultwithspecialists and/or transfer to a hospital.
Midwifery Model of Care
The Midwives Model of Care
The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.
The Midwives Model of Care includes:
The application of this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
- Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) are midwives with formal training (either in a school or apprenticeship), who have met a specific standard for education and experience. They have attained competency in various areas considered “core competencies” for midwifery practice, and have passed a standardized examination on these topics. CPMs qualify for licensing in states that offer licensing options.
- Traditional Midwives are trained through the time-honored practice of apprenticeship. Although they have not met a specific standard for education and experience, nor have they gone through a certifying or licensing procedure, many traditional or “lay” midwives have the good judgement that comes from years of experience.
- Nurse-midwives (CNM) compete a course in midwifery after attaining a nursing degree. Theypractice primarily in hospitals.