Midwives are frequently involved in the care of expectant mothers throughout pregnancy and delivery in other countries, but they have traditionally been less common in the U.S. In recent years, this practice is changing and the demand for midwives from expectant mothers in this country has exploded. When you’re considering your options for labor and delivery in Arlington Heights, could a midwife be right for you? Here are some of the benefits of working with a midwife during your pregnancy and delivery.
Midwives are typically able to develop closer relationships with their patients during the prenatal period. They are less bound by the strict schedules of OBGYNs and are inclined to use that time to build a rapport with their patients. The bond is important when midwives transition to the delivery room with their patients, and coach the patients through the child birth experience. This personalized attention can continue after the birth with lactation support and contraceptive counseling.
The Midwives Model of Care states that both pregnancy and birth are natural and can occur without interferences for most women. If natural childbirth is important to you, then a midwife can be the right fit. Midwives strive to prevent the need for interventions in the delivery room, including induction and regional anesthesia. That doesn’t mean that a midwife can’t or won’t help you build a birth plan that involves medical pain control or that you will be at risk if you do require interventions for a safe delivery. Midwives work closely with OBGYNs and ensure every woman gets the right care, whether that means natural birth is not safe or desired.
Delivery Room Advocate
Even if you require an OBGYN during labor and delivery, a midwife can be an important advocate to have during delivery. Your midwife can strive to ensure that your birth plan is honored and offer explanations and support as you progress through labor. Most women find the relationship with their midwife extremely valuable no matter how their eventual delivery occurs.
After receiving a positive result on your pregnancy test, you might decide to consult a midwife in Arlington Heights . A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is a registered nurse who has completed advanced training in women’s healthcare. Midwives provide woman-centered care, which means you can expect plenty of questions about your own expectations and concerns in addition to the standard health questions.
Questions About Your Sexual and Reproductive Health
Your midwife will need to know about your menstrual history, such as how old you were when you first had your period and when your last period was. She will ask about any menstruation abnormalities you’ve experienced, such as heavy or prolonged bleeding. You can expect to discuss your potential risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You will be asked whether you have ever been pregnant before and if so, what problems you might have experienced during your prior pregnancies. Be sure to tell your midwife if you have previously had a C-section, miscarriage, or birth with multiples.
Questions About Your Medical History
To provide you with the care you need, your midwife will need to know your full medical history. Discuss any medical conditions you might have, such as psychiatric disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, or heart disease. Be sure to mention your allergies, especially if you’re allergic to latex or any medications. Discuss any prior hospitalizations, surgeries, non-surgical procedures, and major illnesses you might have had. Bring a list of your current medications and their dosages. This list should include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Your midwife will also ask you for a record of your vaccinations. Once you’ve covered your personal health history, expect to answer similar questions regarding your family health history.
Questions About Your Birthing Preferences
One of the reasons so many women choose midwife care is that midwives embrace each woman’s ability to make decisions for her own health and her baby’s health. Your midwife will explain the various choices that you can consider for labor and delivery, including pain management medications, drug-free pain management techniques, and birth settings. Some issues to consider include who will be present in the delivery room, whether you wish to remain mobile, which positions you prefer, and how you feel about medical interventions. Of course, it isn’t necessary to know all of your birthing preferences right away. By the third trimester, you should have a firm idea of your wishes.
After turning to a midwife in Arlington Heights for medical support throughout pregnancy and childbirth, many women assume that they’ll never work with a midwife again. But actually, midwifery care extends to all phases of a woman’s life . Many women prefer to work with a midwife during menopause because midwives follow a model of care that puts the patient first and that evaluates the whole patient. This means that in addition to discussing your menopause symptoms and recommending solutions, your midwife will carefully examine your health habits, lifestyle, stressors, and risk factors.
Midwives offer an integrative approach to guiding women through transitions in life. They often provide lifestyle counseling, including counseling on diet and exercise. When appropriate, midwives can prescribe medications such as hormone replacement therapy. Along with addressing menopause symptoms, a midwife can continue to provide gynecological care and health screenings to check for diabetes, depression, and heart disease. Midwives enter the healthcare field because they are keenly dedicated to helping every woman enjoy wellness at every stage of life.
Fairly early in your pregnancy, you will have to decide whether you want to work with a midwife in Arlington Heights or an obstetrician. There is no “right” or “wrong” decision; choose the path that feels right to you. Many women select a midwife because these professionals provide woman-centered care. The role of a midwife is to support the body’s natural ability to give birth and to honor the labor preferences of the mother.
You can hear more about the advantages of working with a midwife by watching this video. It’s presented by a woman who chose a midwife for the birth of her son. She explains that she enjoyed the personalized attention and the way the midwife fully honored her birth plan.
Many expectant mothers are not aware of the options available for labor and delivery. Labor and childbirth is a very personal experience, so it only makes sense that this major life event be personalized to suit the individual needs of each new mother. Midwifery is one option that you may consider. There are some common misconceptions about midwives and the care they provide. Here is the truth behind some common myths.
Myth: Midwives are not formally trained.
In the U.S. there are several types of midwives . The most numerous are Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) that attend births is a hospital setting. The midwives at Northwest Professional Obstetrics and Gynecology are CNMs. Our midwives and all CNMs in Illinois have graduated with a Master’s degree from an accredited midwifery program. They have passed a national certification program and are required to maintain certification with continuing education that keeps them up to date on advances in knowledge and enables them to provide the best care through pregnancy, labor and birth.
Myth: Midwives only deliver babies.
Our midwives do deliver babies, but they do much more. Midwives also provide extensive prenatal care. Your midwives will partner with you from early pregnancy, helping you to deal with nausea and vomiting, and making decisions about the genetic screening tests that are offered. As the symptoms of early pregnancy subside your midwives educate you about diet, exercises and danger signs of pregnancy. In the later months of pregnancy the focus turns to preparing for the birth of your baby, providing information on options for labor and birth, the benefits breastfeeding and routine tests and medications for the newborn. Throughout your pregnancy your midwives will monitor your baby’s growth, watch for any signs of complications, prescribe prenatal vitamins or any medications you may need, order routine tests and ultrasounds and discuss all test results with you.
Midwives also provide well woman gyne care, such as annual exams; treat women’s health problems like irregular or painful periods, vaginal or bladder infections, or symptoms of menopause; and midwives are experts in all forms of contraception. Midwives provide care for women from the time the first period begins until after menopause.
Myth: Midwives don’t work with obstetricians.
Certified Nurse Midwives work as part of a healthcare team. If a woman has minor complications during her pregnancy, the midwife will consult with an obstetrician on how to manage her care. If more complex problems develop in pregnancy, the midwife and doctor work together in collaboration to provide the best and safest care. In the rare instances when there are severe complications, a woman may be referred to an obstetrician to take over her care. Both Certified Nurse Midwives and obstetricians are part of a healthcare system that includes perinatologists, also known as maternal-fetal medicine doctors, that specialize in managing high risk pregnancies. These doctors are always available to both midwives and obstetricians to offer their expertise in managing complications of pregnancy or labor.
When it comes to birth control, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Discuss your preferences with your OBGYN or midwife in Arlington Heights to determine which option is best for you, and watch this video to learn more.
Oral birth control pills are the most common option for women, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best choice for everyone. There is a range of contraception options that are available to help women with a variety of needs and goals for their reproductive health. Your OBGYN or midwife can help you select an effective method of birth control that has a minimal amount of side effects and that fits well with your future family planning desires.
A midwife serving families in Arlington Heights can provide a range of services, including gynecology, family planning, premenopausal care, and of course, pregnancy and childbirth care. For the birth of your child, consider working with a midwife. The midwifery philosophy places the woman at the center of her own care. Midwives empower women to make informed decisions before, during, and after pregnancy.
And as you’ll learn by watching this video, a midwife can be there for you during your entire labor and delivery. A midwife can provide lactation support, counseling on childcare and safety issues, and postnatal healing guidance for new mothers. Long after you bring your baby home, your midwife will be there to answer your questions and care for your growing family.
Midwifery is enjoying an upsurge in popularity in recent years as more women realize the many benefits of choosing a provider who will encourage their proactive participation in the pregnancy, labor, and delivery processes. If you’re interested in a different option for labor and delivery in the Arlington Heights area aside from an obstetrician, consider meeting with a midwife to discuss your choices. Many women who have chosen midwifery express their deep appreciation for this woman-centered method of care.
If You’re Interested in Woman-Centered Care
You may choose a midwife if you prefer an approach that views labor and delivery as natural occurrences that the female body is fully capable of handling. Midwives emphasize the value of helping women to learn about their choices , to give guidance as needed, and then to step back and let the woman make decisions for herself and her baby. Many people find midwifery to be empowering and this approach is particularly well-suited to expectant mothers who are interested in natural birthing methods.
If You Prefer to Reduce Medical Interventions
The majority of midwife-assisted births occur within hospitals or birthing centers, although some women do choose to give birth at home. A midwife understands the labor and delivery techniques that can facilitate a minimum of medical intervention. For example, instead of having an epidural, women may choose to get up and walk around during labor or to labor in a hydrotherapy tub. Even if you do prefer natural birthing methods, you may feel comforted to know that should you desire or need medical interventions, they are readily available to you.
If You Want Extensive Postnatal Support
Midwifery care does not end with the clipping of the umbilical cord. You might decide to work with a midwife if the thought of extensive postnatal support appeals to you. A midwife can walk you through breastfeeding positions, childcare basics, and safety issues. Midwives can answer any questions that may arise about traveling with your baby, taking contraceptives while breastfeeding, dealing with postpartum depression, and many other issues that many new moms face.
One of the first—and biggest—decisions you will make during pregnancy is who will provide your care. Obstetricians are the first choice of many women, but midwives can also be the right option for some patients. Although midwives are the primary caregivers in births in many other countries, myths about the profession mean that many women in the United States overlook this option. For instance, many women assume that midwifery services are restricted to home births and that midwives can’t provide medications during labor and delivery. In reality, the vast majority of midwife births take place in the hospital, and midwives can prescribe pain medications in the same way your doctor would. Get the facts about midwifery in Arlington Heights in this infographic from Northwest Professional Obstetrics & Gynecology .
There are many options to consider when you are planning your labor and delivery near Arlington Heights, including what kind of care you want. For many women, working with a midwife is an ideal complement to OBGYN care, especially if natural childbirth is important to you. If you are considering delivering your baby with a midwife, here is what you need to know.
What Is a Midwife?
A midwife is a trained healthcare professional who focuses on women’s health issues, especially pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Many midwifes are registered nurses with master degrees in relevant fields. All midwifes hold a registered midwifery qualification that indicates their educational and training backgrounds in women’s health issues. Although midwifery is only just gaining in popularity in the U.S., delivering with a midwife is very common in other parts of the world.
Why Do Women Choose Midwives?
Most women choose to work with a midwife during pregnancy because they hope to have a natural childbirth , as midwives generally use the least possible amount of intervention during delivery. However, working with a midwife doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use medications for pain relief during labor or that no medical intervention will be necessary when you deliver. A midwife will always provide any treatments that are necessary for their patients’ well-being and are supported by obstetrics specialists who can step in when needed, such as when a patient requires a C-section.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Midwife?
Midwives can be good fits for women with low-risk pregnancies who want the most natural experience possible during childbirth. Because midwives can often spend more time with patients than OBs, they can be especially helpful during first pregnancies. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, a midwife may not be the right fit because you may require more medical intervention than a midwife can provide. Your OB can help you determine if a midwife is a good option for you based on your medical history and preferences for delivery.
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