Trying to decide who will care for you during your pregnancy and the birth of your baby? While obstetrician-gynecologists remain the go-to professionals for pregnancy care and delivery in the United States, midwives are growing in popularity. In fact, nearly 1 in 10 births today are attended by a midwife. But is a midwife right for you?

Foothills Community Midwives recently hosted a panel discussion on midwifery care. Here are questions the midwives addressed:

What is a Midwife? And, What Does a Midwife Do?
A midwife is a trained health care professional who offers personalized care with every aspect of pregnancy, from prenatal care to delivery.

Although it’s less commonly known, a midwife also provides care for just about all women’s health needs, including gynecological exams, well woman exams, general health checkups and testing, family planning and adolescent gynecology.

What is Their Training?
Midwives can have different levels of training:

  • Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are licensed registered nurses with graduate education in midwifery. They can practice in all 50 states.
  • Certified midwives (CMS) are non-nurse midwives with a bachelor's degree or higher in a health field, have completed an accredited midwifery education program and have passed a national exam. Only a few states permit CMs to practice.
  • Certified professional midwives (CPMs) are non-nurse midwives who have training and clinical experience in childbirth and have passed a national exam. Not all states permit CPMs to practice.

All midwives who practice at Foothills Community Midwives are CNMs.

What is the Midwifery Model of Care for Childbirth?
Because midwives view pregnancy, labor and childbirth as a natural process – rather than a medical condition – midwives are strong supporters of empowering moms throughout this important and highly personal journey. The model of care is more of a shared decision-making model, with the midwife educating and supporting you both emotionally and physically.

During labor, a midwife will assist you in delivering your baby as naturally as possible, offering comfort and support with stress-relieving holistic therapies and hands-on adjustments. You will receive very little medical intervention if labor is progressing normally.

Why You Might Want to Choose a Midwife for Childbirth?
Not all women are good candidates for midwifery care. You may want to consider working with a midwife if:

  • You wish childbirth to be as natural as possible and aim to receive very little medical intervention when labor is progressing normally.
  • You have had no major complications during pregnancy. The conventional OB-GYN route is best for those with high-risk pregnancies.

Where Do Midwives Deliver Babies?
Midwives deliver babies at birthing centers or at home, but most can also deliver babies in a hospital.

Foothills Community Midwives deliver babies at Foothills Hospital’s Family Birth Center, offering the comfort and safety of a hospital setting.

How Does a Midwife Work With Other Health Care Professionals?
Midwives often have relationships with OB-GYNs who can provide consultation as needed.

Foothills Community Midwives has a close, collaborative relationship with the obstetricians at Boulder Women’s Care, who are available 24/7 if any midwife patient develops a serious medical concern during pregnancy or labor and delivery. In addition, a uniquely home-like Special Care Nursery is located within Foothill Hospital's Family Birth Center should extra medical care for your baby is required.

To make an appointment with a health care provider at Foothills Community Midwives, call (303) 415-4045.

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