Whether you’re mulling over a list of names, exploring car seat options, or budgeting for daycare, you’ve got a lot to plan for when you’re pregnant. Even though the reality of childbirth can seem far off when you’re in your first trimester, it’s an ideal time to start thinking about the kind of labor and delivery experience you’d like to have.
If you’re interested in trying for a natural birth with little-to-no medical intervention, or if you like the idea of having low-tech, high-touch support during labor and delivery, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a midwife.
As holistic, collaborative care providers who’ve been assisting women before, during, and after childbirth for centuries, midwives are pregnancy and childbirth experts. About 70% of women across the globe rely on the support and expertise of a midwife to help them welcome their babies into the world.
Here are five great reasons to consider using a midwife for your delivery.
It makes sense that the term “midwife” means “with woman.” After all, the midwifery model of care is founded on the belief that pregnancy and labor and delivery are normal, natural processes, and that women shouldn’t be directed or controlled through those processes. They should be supported and empowered.
To put it another way: Midwives don’t regard pregnancy and childbirth as medical events. They view them as life events that women already have the inherent strength and instinctive ability to manage, especially with the right support and guidance.
As holistic, collaborative care providers, midwives know that the best way to support and guide you through pregnancy and childbirth is by giving you the information and reassurance you need to understand the process and play an active role in your own health care decisions along the way.
Choosing an experienced midwife as your primary partner in prenatal care and childbirth can help you feel less stressed through your pregnancy, more confident during labor and delivery, and more prepared in your early postpartum months as a new mom.
During a routine obstetrician-attended birth, your doctor may check-in throughout the labor process, but they’re mostly present during active labor and delivery. In the hours leading up to active labor, your own labor partner, along with the hospital’s nursing staff, provide ongoing support and guidance.
Midwives, on the other hand, provide continuous support and guidance throughout the entire labor and delivery process. On top of incorporating natural pain relief techniques like focused breathing, massage, music, and hydrotherapy, midwives also use simple strategies like walking and positional changes to help advance the labor process.
It’s not surprising that many women choose a midwife-assisted delivery because they’d like to experience natural childbirth and/or avoid unnecessary medical intervention. Midwives respect your bodily autonomy as well as your personal birthing preferences, and they strive to help you achieve your ideal birth experience.
Although midwives recognize when medical intervention is needed, midwife-attended births are less likely to begin with medically induced labor, rely on an epidural for pain control, or require an episiotomy during delivery. Partnering with a midwife can also reduce your risk of having an unplanned Cesarean delivery, even if your baby isn’t in the right position when labor begins.
Above all, midwives are committed to providing the kind of support and expertise that helps facilitate a healthy pregnancy, a safe and enjoyable birthing experience, optimal postpartum recovery, and the best possible start in life for your baby.
By providing personalized, medical-based care that focuses on your needs and emphasizes your inherent capabilities as a woman, midwives help create a secure environment where you can feel cared for and confident going into childbirth.
Here at Westover Hills Women’s Health, we’re proud to offer the highest quality, most comprehensive obstetric services for moms-to-be, ranging from conventional, trusted care with a board-certified OB/GYN to more holistic care with an experienced midwife.
To learn more about the benefits of using a midwife, call one of our offices in San Antonio, Texas, or click the online booking tool to schedule an appointment with Dr. Al-Hakeem or one of our midwives.