Midwife Myths

09/08/10 9:55 PM

Mom and babyA friend of mine recently gave birth at a “Birthing Center” using only a jacuzzi and a midwife. Being equally pregnant at the time and terrified of hospitals, I considered doing the same. So after extensively researching midwifery and all that it entails, I learned that many people are misinformed about midwives, their training and their approach to giving birth.

Myth #1: Unqualified Care

The number of midwife deliveries has more than doubled since 1990 and with good reason. Unlike doulas or birthing coaches, most midwives have different levels of medical training. 97% of all midwives deliver in hospitals and contrary to popular belief, certified nursing midwives are qualified to give pain meds, labor inducing medication and even epidurals to their patients.

Myth #2: Using a Medical Pro is Safer Than a Midwife?

Many people still believe that using a doctor is safer but recent reports indicate that women who use midwives have babies with higher birth rates, better prenatal care and lower rates of C-sections. If you have a low risk pregnancy and want to be more pro-active during your labor and delivery, having a midwife can actually make you feel more comfortable and in control. Midwives are great at helping new moms with nutrition for mom and baby, breastfeeding and emotional support when dealing with anxieties about giving birth.

Myth #3: The Medication Myth

I had always heard that if you use a midwife, hang up any form of pain medication. Not true. Although midwives tend to favor the natural approach to labor and delivery, if the mom wants pain meds, she can have them! This tall tale is usually the one thing that keeps women from using a midwife but the real reason behind the natural approach of massage, natural stretching and using a jacuzzi is to avoid episiotomies and reduce the chance of a Cesarean and has worked. Statistics show that the rate of having a C-section when using a midwife is one third of the national rate. So talk to your doctor about local midwives and the pro’s and con’s of using one, you may find they fit your

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