Busting These 5 Myths About Midwives

Pregnancy typically comes with a lot of excitement — and decisions to be made. While it's fun to consider names, nursery decorations, and stroller options, it's important to also think what type of prenatal, birth, and postpartum experience you desire. Many people find using a midwife to be a great help.

Here at Habersham OBGYN in Demorest, Georgia, Dr. Thomas Hatchett, and our highly skilled staff can meet all your gynecological and obstetrical needs. We use integrative health services to treat women from their teens to post-menopause for a wide variety of issues from preventive services to reproductive health problems and more. We also provide personalized prenatal and obstetrics care from both Dr. Hatchett and our nurse-midwife, Britteny Barron.

Midwives

A midwife is highly trained and helps women with normal uncomplicated pregnancies through the entire process from prenatal exams to newborn care, assistance with lactation, and nutritional advice. A midwife also works with the mom-to-be to develop a birthing plan and is present during labor and delivery to provide assistance and support.

Myths about midwives

While midwives can be incredibly helpful during pregnancy and the baby's birth, many people do not fully understand their role. For this reason, there are a number of myths that exist about them. For example:

Myth: Labor and delivery are riskier for you and your baby with a midwife instead of a doctor.

Nurse-midwives are highly trained medical professionals who have undergone extensive training. Look for one who is a certified nurse midwife (CNM), which means they have special expertise in maternity and gynecologic care. Many collaborate with doctors and know the local hospital obstetrical staff.

In addition, states who integrate midwives more frequently in obstetric care have lower rates of cesarean deliveries, preterm births, and neonatal deaths. Midwife participation also increased rates of breastfeeding.

Myth: Midwives require home births.

Some midwives do work with women during home births, but many can also deliver at a birth center or in a hospital, depending on the mother-to-be's preference and medical condition.

Myth: Midwives don't use epidurals or pain medications.

Midwives work with the woman to develop a birth plan including possible options for pain relief. For those seeking a natural birth, midwives are well-versed in using massage, movement, a Jacuzzi tub, music, and aromatherapy to help support the woman through the process. In addition, they can prescribe medications including epidurals and more for women who want help with the pain.

Myth: Midwives are the same as doulas.

A doula's background typically includes non-medical training focused on giving physical and emotional support during the labor and delivery process as well as after the baby is born. Midwives do this, too, but they also have a more medical role in monitoring the mother and baby's health, reporting the progress of labor, discussing any necessary medical decisions, and delivering the baby.

Myth: Midwives don't work with doctors.

Midwives work with a wide variety of health care experts including doctors. If a pregnancy becomes high-risk or there is a complication or surgery is needed, a midwife can refer the woman to a doctor while still remaining an important part of her team.

If you're seeking a caring partner with medical expertise to help you through your pregnancy, labor, delivery, and post-partum period, book online or call our office at 706-229-4718 today to learn more about using a midwife. 

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