The modern midwife provides holistic care to the childbearing woman and newborn. She respects a wide range of women's needs, including personal and cultural values. Focusing on the natural processes of pregnancy, labor, and birth, she combines traditional skills and modern techniques to protect normal childbirth. The midwife maintains associations with physicians and other health care providers to ensure that mother and child have the best integrated care available.
Midwifery is based on a strong belief in partnership with childbearing women and respect for birth as a normal life event. Midwives strive to empower parents with knowledge, and support their right to create the birth experience which is best for them. Midwives respect intimacy, privacy, family integrity, and draw on their own patience and understanding to provide care during pregnancy and birth.
Birth is a natural and normal life event.
Midwives consider birth a natural event in women's lives. Midwifery is based on the belief that childbirth is a natural, healthy process and that most women are fully capable of giving birth. Midwives see pregnancy as part of the full spectrum of life's experiences and believe women have the right to a fulfilling childbirth experience.
Midwifery care involves a balance of traditional wisdom and modern knowledge. Women avoid the discomfort and disruption that unnecessary procedures impose; yet have the opportunity to use both traditional techniques and modern technology, as needed.
Midwives improve the outcome of labor and birth.
National research shows that midwives achieve the same outcomes as physicians without disrupting the natural birth process as often. Research also shows that midwives have reduced cesarean section rates by more than 50% with no compromise in safety. In fact, care from midwives has significantly lower rates of induced labor, episiotomies, and forcep births. Midwives are more actively involved in a woman's preparation for childbirth. Midwifery support reduces the length of labor, avoids unnecessary interventions and improves birth outcomes. For links to current research, click here.
Midwives take time to offer care.
Midwives recognize that clients are individuals and because of their personal, cultural, and religious beliefs, every birth experience is different. Midwifery care is individualized; it involves education, health promotion, social support, and clinical assessment. Midwifery encourages mind-body connections, recognizes the spiritual and emotional aspects of birth, and empowers women to birth with strength and dignity.
Midwives encourage women and their families to make informed choices, creating an atmosphere in which they can celebrate the miracle of birth, wherever they choose to be. Midwifery is personalized care.
Your insurance may cover midwifery care.
Some health insurance plans cover midwifery care, including Medicaid, BCBS, Group Health, Regence and other major insurers.
Midwives are cost effective and improve outcomes. Midwifery care reduces costs through sensible use of technology and tests, and lower cesarean section rates without compromising quality or outcome. With the option of out-of-hospital care, families can reduce costs as must as 30-50%.