Services Of A Midwife: How They Differ From Services Offered By An Obstetrician In A Hospital Setting


Midwives, unlike their medieval counterparts, are required to have a license in obstetrics and registered nursing. It is no longer a profession whereby one woman who is experienced in delivering babies runs from house to house helping women in labor. Instead, a modern midwife spends two to four years training to be a registered nurse, followed by several more weeks of training in obstetrics and midwifery. If you are considering hiring a midwife for your next baby's delivery, there are some key differences between an OB/GYN and a midwife that you should know.

Natural Birth vs. Painkillers and Pitocin

Most midwives can administer milder painkillers, but they cannot induce labor or give you an epidural. This is because the labor-inducing chemical, pitocin, can only be prescribed by an OB/GYN and increased or decreased as the need arises. Also, an epidural can only be administered by an anesthesiologist, so if you expect to have induced labor or a pain-dulling medication during your labor and delivery, only a doctor in a hospital can provide that. However, a midwife can help you through labor and delivery in more natural ways and these techniques are healthy and safe for mom and baby.

Complications in Labor

A midwife is trained to turn your baby, should it present as breach (feet coming out first instead of the head). This process involves intense rolling and putting pressure on your baby to get your baby to move around. It is not the most pleasant of sensations when your abdomen already feels like it is going to explode, but it is less painful than a C-section, which is what an OB/GYN would recommend and/or do if you were in a delivery room at the hospital. The techniques connected to turning your baby so it is head down allows you to heal quicker from delivery and without stitches or infection.

Home Births Instead of Hospital Births

Women who choose to have a midwife often choose to have their babies delivered at home. With a midwife, this option is completely feasible. With an OB/GYN doctor, you do not get the option of delivering your baby at home because most doctors do not make house calls anymore. Additionally, after you have delivered your baby and the placenta, your midwife can examine you and your baby for any potential health concerns, blood typing, Rh factors between mother and child, and clean up you and your baby. You get to relax in the comfort of your own bed and in familiar surroundings.



17 April 2015

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