The Modern Day Midwife

Throughout history, midwives have attended to women’s needs and helped them deliver their babies. They were women with little formal education, but they had big hearts and good intentions. Until the 1940’s, this woman was the midwife. Today’s midwife is different: she’s educated and versatile. She works closely with medical personnel to insure women get all the care they need, beyond just pregnancy and childbirth. Today’s modern midwife isn’t only a “she” any longer, either. Although only a small percentage of midwives are men – about two percent, more and more are delving into this once female-dominated profession.   [photo via flickr]

January 8th is celebrated as Midwives’ Day–originally in Greece, but the holiday has become internationally recognized as midwives have enjoyed a resurgence. Sadly, they still haven’t enjoyed enough of a resurgence for most people to understand the midwife’s modern role.

Let’s take a look at the modern day midwife and how she (or he) helps women today.

A Midwife is More Than Just Birthing Babies

Before the 1940’s, a women got pregnant and she went to a midwife. The midwife helped her through the pregnancy and delivered her baby. That’s it. A woman had no need to see a midwife at any other time. Today, midwives enjoy a much broader scope of practice – from a woman’s first pelvic exam, birth control, pregnancy and childbirth and into menopause. The midwife is there for it all; helping women plan and wade through the difficult waters of womanhood. They offer counseling and fertility advice and care for women with a variety of gynecological issues.

Midwives and Childbirth

The midwives of yesterday usually only delivered babies at home. This was because they lacked the formal training needed to participate in a hospital birth. Those days are gone, and a whopping ninety-eight percent of births attended by midwives are in hospitals. While some midwives still deliver babies at home or in freestanding birthing centers, the majority of new parents prefer a hospital setting and midwives are more than happy to oblige.

One misconception that has followed midwives through the years is if a woman chooses a midwife to deliver her baby, she won’t be able to have any pain medication during the delivery. This was once true, but–because most midwife-assisted births take place in hospitals–women now have access to medications and anesthesia should the need arise.

Midwives and Education

Today’s midwife goes through a rigorous course of education consisting of theory, didactic and hands-on learning that can take anywhere from one to three years. Afterward, they must pass the certifying exam and adhere to strict guidelines as they pertain to the state in which they practice. There are different levels of midwifery: Certified nurse-midwife – a registered nurse who has taken an accredited graduate education program and passed a national exam – and a Certified Midwife – a person who has completed an accredited education program and passed a certification exam.

Most midwives collaborate with an obstetrician. In most instances, pregnancy and delivery are normal with no complications and the midwife is highly trained in what is normal and knows when something is not. In the instance that something goes wrong, it is important that the midwife has that collaborative relationship with an obstetrician. They should make decisions and manage the situation as a team–which might seem a little daunting, but that’s why it’s so important to understand the credentials of today’s modern midwife.

Even though, a midwife is a essential role in pregnancy but you still need to visit a the clinic. Advanced Fertility Clinic may fulfill your requirement regarding any sorts of assistance.