Q: Are midwives just for women who want to have natural births?
A: In a word, no!
A good midwife will give you the care you need and help you have the birth you want. Some women feel sure that they want an epidural, and may feel like a midwife would then not be a good fit for them. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) who practice in hospital settings would in fact be great caregivers for such a woman. Your midwife can explain to you the risks of an epidural–not to necessarily talk you out of one, but rather to educate you. Too often pre-natal appointments with OBs go by in a flash, with a woman spending less than five minutes with her doctor, but midwifery care is typically characterized by, among other things, longer appointments with much more education. By becoming more familiar with you, your body, and your preferences, your midwife will be able to help you advocate for an epidural and choose the best time to have it during your labor, rather than being pressured to get it now because that is what fits best into the anesthesiologist’s schedule. Midwives are also much more likely to be proponents of such baby-friendly measures as delayed cord clamping, natural delivery of the placenta, and immediate skin-to-skin bonding (i.e., delaying the newborn proceedures).
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