Midwife: Something Not For Everyone

Birth Injury

Midwives have been around for generations, helping women through their pregnancies because doctors were not always available.  Today midwives offer expectant mothers with an alternative to having a doctor deliver their babies.  For some mothers it may be a preference for having a natural birth.  Other mothers may choose to use a midwife for financial reasons.

Midwives specialize in almost everything that involves pregnancies.  Some of the areas of pregnancy midwives provide mothers with help in include:

  • Delivering the baby
  • Physical examinations
  • Post-delivery issues, such as breastfeeding
  • Prenatal care

The type of midwife depends on their education level and certification which varies from state to state.  Some states require additional training and license requirements.  Generally, a:

  • Certified Nurse-Midwife – has been trained, and is a licensed nurse who has at least a bachelor’s degree and has a certification from the American College of Nurse Midwives.
  • Certified Professional Midwife – has been trained in midwifery and meets the educational requirements set by the North American Registry of Midwives.
  • Certified Midwife – has earned at least a bachelor’s degree and has been certified from the ACNM.

Some expectant mothers think of using a midwife because she wants to experience a natural birth.  She may want the birth to take place at a special birthing center or at home.  If this is the case then she may want the ongoing personalized care that a midwife can offer.

Regardless of whether has decided to use a midwife; certain steps should be taken to ensure that she and the baby are well-cared for:

  • Determine pregnancy risk level (midwives will handle mostly low risk pregnancies with very little chance of there being a complication).
  • Before making a decision, consult with more than one midwife.
  • Ask any midwife for references and contact as many as possible.
  • Check that a midwife has met the education and licensing requirements of your state.
  • Ask the midwives the names of the doctors they work with if they are required to work with under the supervision of the doctor.
  • Ask whether the midwife would work with a doctor voluntarily in case there was a medical emergency.
  • Consider giving birth in a hospital where a doctor will always be available in case of an emergency.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.