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.
Although there are dozens of birth control options available to women in Arlington Heights, over half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Birth control isn’t always foolproof and sometimes it simply isn’t available. Fortunately, pregnancy doesn’t occur immediately after sex. In fact, it may take as long as five days after sex for sperm to fertilize an egg and create a zygote. During this time, there is a window of opportunity to use birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. This is known as emergency contraception.
Birth control that is used after sex is sometimes called the “morning after pill,” but this label is somewhat misleading. Emergency contraception is available both in pills and in medical devices, and it may be used at other times than just the morning after intercourse. There are different brands of emergency contraception pills (ECPs), which are available for purchase without a prescription for women who are at least 17 years of age. One particular brand may be purchased by women of all ages at drugstores without a prescription. These pills contain a hormone that blocks conception. Another type of emergency contraception is an intrauterine device (IUD), which must be placed in the uterus by a healthcare provider. IUDs are intended for women who desire a long-term method of birth control.
It’s important to carefully follow the dosage instructions. Some brands instruct women to take one pill, while others require two. Even if a pill can be taken within five days after unprotected sex, it is more effective when taken as soon as possible.
Birth control pills can sometimes cause temporary nausea. If you vomit within one hour after taking the pills, you should call your healthcare provider to ask if you need another dose. Despite some temporary side effects, emergency contraception is very safe and, when used as directed, it is effective.
Some women may be reluctant to use emergency contraception for fear that if they are already pregnant, the pills could harm the fetus. If emergency contraception is used after pregnancy has occurred, the pills have no effect on the fetus at all. There is no risk of birth defects and it is impossible for ECPs to induce pregnancy loss.
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.
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.
To provide personalized care the Certified Nurse Midwives at Northwest Professional OB-Gyne in Arlington Heights draw on many disciplines, not only midwifery, but nursing, psychology, nutrition, social science, human development, public health and medicine. This broad background helps our midwives to understand each individual woman and her needs and provide a whole-woman approach to care. Our midwives see your health as a part of your life that influences and is influenced by all the other parts of your life.
Midwives Listen to Women
Women want a provider who will involve them in making decisions for their health, labor and birth. Midwives listen to your concerns, educate you about the issues and options and work with you to find a solution that is best for you. Your midwife strives to be your partner in care, not just your provider of care.
Evidence Based Care
The care midwives provide is based on evidence of the benefits for mother and baby. Midwives don’t interfere with the normal process of pregnancy, labor and birth as long as there are no problems. Our midwives will work with you to help you stay healthy and avoid complications. At the same time, midwives carefully monitor women during pregnancy and labor, identify problems and know what to do to manage them if they should arise. With this approach, women midwives care for are less likely to have a cesarean section, have labor induced, or have an episiotomy.
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.
Pregnancy and childbirth are incredible transitions for every woman. It’s important to work with an obstetrics and gynecology provider with whom you feel comfortable sharing your concerns. Many women choose a midwife near Arlington Heights because of the personalized, compassionate approach of midwifery care. Midwives encourage a close, collaborative provider-patient relationship. Your midwife will provide you with all the guidance you need to make the decisions that you feel are best for you and your baby.
During your pregnancy, you’ll meet with your midwife regularly for prenatal care visits. Just like an obstetrician, your midwife will monitor your weight gain, health conditions, and vital signs. Midwives discuss lifestyle choices that can affect pregnancy, such as nutrition, exercise, and environmental toxins. Your midwife will recommend appropriate prenatal tests, such as ultrasound imaging and blood tests.
Labor and Delivery Services
From the perspective of midwives, labor and childbirth are natural transitions in life, not medical conditions that must be treated. So long as the labor and delivery progress without complications, you can rely on your midwife to minimize technological interventions in accordance with your wishes. Your midwife will respect your choice with regard to pain management, which may include natural coping techniques, epidural medications, or a combination of these approaches.
Midwifery care does not end with the delivery of your little one. Your midwife will continue to look after your health and address your concerns. Your postpartum treatment may include monitoring your physical healing and discussing your emotional responses to the change in your family life. Your midwife can provide guidance on nutrition, sexual activity, and birth control if desired—just to name a few.
Midwives provide lactation counseling, if desired.
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