At Sierra Vista, we welcome your unique birth plans wishes! If you choose to give birth with the assistance of a mid-wife, we support and empower your decision. We even have a Labor Tub within our Birth Center to assist in a comforting and natural experience.
The term midwife reflects a philosophy of care that is directed toward women and their individual reproductive needs. A midwife usually offers a variety of options and seeks to eliminate or minimize unnecessary interventions.
A midwife is a health care professional who provides an array of health care services for women including gynecological examinations, contraceptive counseling, prescriptions, and labor and delivery care. Providing expert care during labor and delivery, and after birth is a specialty that makes midwives unique.
What Services Do Midwives Provide?
The services of a midwife depend on the certification and licensing credentials obtained and the practice restrictions of each state. Because of the additional licensure in nursing, a nurse-midwife can offer the most comprehensive array of health care services to women.
These services include annual gynecological exams, family planning and preconception care, prenatal care, labor and delivery support, newborn care, and menopausal management.
Midwives generally provide reproductive education in fertility, nutrition, exercise, contraception, pregnancy health, breastfeeding, and quality infant care.
Different Types of Midwives
Midwives are qualified health care providers who receive comprehensive training and must pass an examination to become certified. Certification is offered by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) and the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). Different types of midwives include:
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM): a midwife trained and licensed in nursing and midwifery. Nurse-midwives must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. They are also certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
Certified Midwife (CM): an individual trained and certified in midwifery. Certified midwives must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. They are also certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM): an individual who is trained in midwifery and meets standards of the North American Registry of Midwives. Multiple educational backgrounds are recognized to become a CPM.
Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM): an independent individual trained in midwifery through various sources that may include apprenticeship, self-study, a midwifery school, or a college/university program.
Lay Midwife: an individual who is not certified or licensed as a midwife but has received informal training through self-study or apprenticeship.
What are the Benefits of Using a Midwife?
One of the main reasons women decide to use a midwife is to experience childbirth as naturally as possible. An additional benefit of having a midwife is their various payment options. Midwives often offer payment plans and sliding fees, and are willing to accept most insurance plans including Medicaid.
There are cases in which either the mother or the baby will require medical interventions that are outside the scope of services offered by a midwife. Midwives routinely consult with obstetricians, perinatologists, and other healthcare professionals, and will refer women to appropriate medical professionals if complications arise.
If a woman has a high-risk pregnancy and/or if complications are anticipated, it is recommended to choose a hospital setting like Sierra Vista with more convenient access to obstetricians, perinatologists, and other professionals trained to address complications affecting either the mother or baby.
If you are interested in the Midwife Services available at Sierra Vista, contact our Labor and Delivery team to find out more information.