There are several pathways to midwifery. Choosing the best midwife for you may mean considering a different birthing environment.
CERTIFIED NURSE MIDWIVES (CNM)
For those wanting a hospital environment for their birth, but a more balanced approach with expectant management of their maternity care through the pregnancy and birth of their baby, Certified Nurse Midwifery should be considered.
A hospital-based nurse midwifery team follows the same ACOG recommended visit schedule of care and screening options as any standard OBGYN practice. A certified nurse-midwifery practice has several midwives whom you could meet with prenatally. Typical prenatal office appointments last approximately 15-30 minutes. During labor, they often provide an initial pelvic exam to determine dilation and if you should be admitted to the hospital after you have been triaged by a registered nurse. CNMs have an on-call rotation, so it’s uncertain who will be with you when you are birthing, or if you will have the same provider catch your baby as who has been with you throughout labor. Your midwife will ensure the safe delivery of your baby with intermittent check-ins with you or your nurse, considering changes from the curve of normal physiological birth, facilitating any interventions, catching your baby or transferring your care to an Obstetrician (OB/GYN). After the birth of your placenta and routine check of your perineum and fundus, your provider will leave your recovery care to the nursing staff who will be in charge of the care for you and your baby for about 2 hours following your birth. You will then be transferred to a postpartum floor and assigned a new nurse for each shift for the duration of your hospital stay.
Most Medical insurances will cover certified nurse midwives for a planned hospital birth. However, Nurse midwives are not available in every hospital, or may not be available 24/7.
Some Nurse Midwives will attend home birth. Though CNMs have licensing in the state of Massachusetts, medical insurance will not reimburse home birth any more than other midwives.
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIVES (CPM)
Research has shown the home to be a safe location to birth for low-risk pregnancies, allowing the natural birth process to unfold with the skillful and compassionate care of professional midwifery services. Home birth midwifery care decreases unnecessary interventions and increases a new family’s confidence and satisfaction in birth and parenting. A professional home birth midwifery team follows the same ACOG recommended visit schedule of care and screening options as any OBGYN office. Midwives offer evidence-based care, unencumbered by routine practice or hospital policy. Instead of a 10-15 minute appointment, they are typically with you for 60-90 minutes every meeting. Rather than planning birth under hospital lights with strangers, you’re planning your birth in the comfort of your home with providers you’ve come to know and trust. While you enjoy getting to know the sweet newborn baby in your arms, the team will prepare nutritious postpartum food and tend to your home before tucking you into bed for a truly good night’s rest, often leaving 4-6 hours following the birth of your baby. Your midwife returns within several times within the first week postpartum for check-ups.
Some medical insurances cover home birth, and often if they do not cover the birthday, they will often cover your prenatal and postpartum care with a homebirth midwife. Contact your insurance company to find out if birth at home is covered. Do not let finances be the reason for choosing your birth setting or provider. Deductibles for a hospital-based birth may be more than the cost of birthing with a home birth midwife. Many CPMs will offer a payment plan to help you afford a home birth in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island.
Community midwives have followed a traditional education before organized learning opportunities. Their education has been received by hands-on learning and the passing down of knowledge from the generations of midwives before them. There is a variety of care in this midwifery title, and it's important to ask questions about education, continued education, care practices, and about emergency protocols.
THE DOULA vs. MIDWIFE DIFFERENCE
It’s important to note the difference between doulas and midwives. A doula is more like a birthing coach, but a midwife is a similar trained professional with special expertise in supporting women to maintain a healthy pregnancy birth, offering expert individualized care, education, counseling to a woman and her baby throughout the childbearing cycle. While a midwife and doula may offer many of the same philosophies and qualities, it is the midwife that will deliver or “catch” the baby and perform necessary medical examinations throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum.
Birth Doula Support can be a complimentary team member for your family. They provide childbirth education, support during pregnancy, and continuous physical, emotional and informational support to you and your partner during your labor and birth. Birth doulas are meant for those wanting natural birth, epidural birth, home birth, hospital birth, hypnobirthing, and cesarean!
After the birth of your baby, there may be new challenges during the first weeks of parenthood. Postpartum doulas provide a wide spectrum of support which include breastfeeding assistance, newborn care, sibling care, physical help around the home cooking healthy meals, laundry, and emotional support to new parents who may be experiencing the new anxieties of parenthood.
We help provide RESPECT, SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT, and nurture your transition to parenthood with CONFIDENCE and PEACE!