Just wanted to offer some links for midwives There are midwives that work at hospitals, midwives that work at birth centers, and midwives who deliver at home. If you have the chance to deliver with a midwife, often her method is different than an OBs, and she is trained to be suportive of natural childbirth without much intervention. It is certainly possible to have a natural birth with an OB, but OBs are much easier to find than midwives!
The word "midwife" means "with woman."
In the simplest terms, a midwife is a knowledgeable and experienced person (usually a woman) who helps a woman have a healthy, normal pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. A good midwife does this by offering education, counseling and support before, during and after the baby is born, by not interfering unnecessarily with the birth process, and by getting appropriate medical attention for mother or baby if it should be needed.
A midwife who provides the Midwives Model of Care offers the kind of thorough, respectful, woman-centered care that is described in the Midwives Model of Care brochure. http://www.cfmidwifery.org/mmoc/brochure_text.aspx
A midwife can be an excellent choice for maternity care for women who are healthy (no serious medical conditions) and expect to have a normal pregnancy. However, you should be aware that while midwives practice in many settings, it is still rare to get the Midwives Model of Care in a hospital setting. Typically, the most likely place to receive the Midwives Model of Care is in your home or a free-standing birth center, because usually it is difficult for caregivers to give the woman-centered, individualized Midwives Model of Care under the rules and standard practices of today's hospitals.
History of Midwifery:
For Nurse Midwives
American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM)
Citizens for Midwifery
Midwives Alliance of North America
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