Midwifery Myths Set Straight by ourmomentoftruth.com

The profession of midwifery has evolved with today’s modern health care system. But there are many myths about midwives in the United States based on centuries-old images or simple misunderstandings. You might be surprised to learn the truth about some of these common midwifery myths.

 

True or False?

Midwives have no formal education.

FALSE. Most midwives in the United States have a master’s degree and are required to pass a national certification exam. There are many different types of midwives, each holding different certifications based on their education and/or experience. Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) attend approximately 93% of all midwife-attended births in the United States, and as of 2010 they are required to have a master’s degree in order to practice midwifery.

Midwives and physicians work together.

TRUE. CNMs and CMs work with all members of the health care team, including physicians. Midwifery care fits well with the services provided by obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs), who are experts in high risk, medical complications, and surgery. By working with OB/GYNs, midwives can ensure that a specialist is available if a high-risk condition should arise. Likewise, many OB/GYN practices include midwives who specialize in care for women through normal, healthy life events. In this way, all women can receive the right care for their individual health care needs.

Midwives only focus on pregnancy and birth.

FALSE. Midwives have expert knowledge and skill in caring for women through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. But they also do much more. CNMs and CMs provide health care services to women in all stages of life, from the teenage years through menopause, including general health check-ups, screenings and vaccinations; pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care; well woman gynecologic care; treatment of sexually transmitted infections; and prescribing medications, including all forms of pain control medications and birth control.

Midwives can prescribe medications and order tests.

TRUE. CNMs and CMs are licensed to prescribe a full range of substances, medications, and treatments, including pain control medications and birth control. They can also order needed medical tests within their scope of practice and consistent with state laws and practice guidelines.

Midwives cannot care for me if I have a chronic health condition or my pregnancy is considered high-risk.

FALSE. Midwives are able to provide different levels of care depending on a woman’s individual health needs. If you have a chronic health condition, a midwife still may be able to provide some or all of your direct care services. In other cases, a midwife may play a more of a supportive role and help you work with other health care providers to address your personal health care challenges. In a high-risk pregnancy, a midwife can help you access resources to support your goals for childbirth, provide emotional support during challenging times, or work alongside specialists who are experts in your high-risk condition to ensure safe, healthy outcomes.

Midwives offer pain relief to women during labor.

TRUE. Midwives are leading experts in how to cope with labor pain. As a partner with you in your health care, your midwife will explain pain relief options and help you develop a birth plan that best fits your personal needs and desires. Whether you wish to use methods such as relaxation techniques or movement during labor or try IV, epidural, or other medications, your midwife will work with you to help meet your desired approach to birth. At the same time, your midwife will provide you with information and resources about the different options and choices available if any changes to your birth plan become necessary or if you change your mind.

Midwives only attend births at home.

FALSE. Midwives practice in many different settings, including hospitals, medical offices, free-standing birth centers, clinics, and/or private settings (such as your home). In fact, because many women who choose a midwife for their care wish to deliver their babies in a hospital, many hospitals in the United States offer an in-house midwifery service. And because midwives are dedicated to one-on-one care, many practice in more than one setting to help ensure that women have access to the range of services they need or desire and to allow for specific health considerations. In 2012, about 95% of births attended by midwives in the United States were in hospitals.

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What is a Doula vs. Midwife

[Article below is from   http://www.diffen.com/difference/Doula_vs_Midwife }

Childbirth today has several alternatives to the standard hospital experience with an obstetrician, and doula and midwife are just two of many.

A doula is an assistant who provides physical as well as emotional support during childbirth. She helps women in a non-medical capacity.

A midwife is a qualified professional from an institution of her country, which enables her to help a pregnant woman in delivering a baby. The World Health Organization defines a midwife as: A person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational program that is duly recognized in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery. The educational program may be an apprenticeship, a formal university program, or a combination.

Comparison chart

Doula versus Midwife comparison chart
  Doula Midwife
Definition A doula is an assistant who provides physical as well as emotional support during childbirth. She helps women in a non-medical capacity. A midwife is a qualified professional from an institution of her country, which enables her to help a pregnant woman in delivering a baby.
Duties Prenatal Doula aids with Educating women about their own choices regarding options for their upcoming birth of their child. Childbirth Doula helps the mother during labor and childbirth. Postpartum Doula offers services after the child is born Aids with preventive measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, accessing of medical or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.
Types Prenatal, Childbirth and Postpartum Doulas. Certified nurse midwife (CNM), certified professional midwife (CPM), direct-entry midwife (DEM), registered midwife (RM), licensed midwife (LM), depending on availability of state licensure for non-nurse midwives.
Etymology Ancient Greek doulē, meaning female who helps Middle English Mid meaning with & Old English wif meaning woman.
Certification Childbirth International, D.O.N.A (Doulas of North America), and C.A.P.P.A. In Canada: C.A.R.E. (Canadian Association Registry and education) North American Registry of Midwives & American College of Nurse Midwives. In Canada: Registered by the College of Alberta Midvives (AAM) and Canadian Association of MIdwives (CAM)
Salary $300 to $1000 per pregnancy they assisted mother in, depending on factors like cost of living, employer, credentials, experience. $40, 000 – $90, 000 as a base salary respect to change according to the employer, education, experience of the midwife etc.

Types & Duties

A doula can characteristically be classified into three types: prenatal doula, childbirth doula and postpartum doula. Based on the qualification, a doula may assist a pregnant woman before child birth by getting her necessary commodities and preparing her to deliver a baby. A childbirth doula, does just that, i.e. helps a pregnant woman deliver a baby. Her role may include assisting the mother during childbirth by supporting her emotionally etc. However, a postpartum doula can help a mother after child birth with all the essential chores at home, including but not limited to cooking, caring for the child, assisting in breast feeding etc.

Typically, there are two types of midwives: Direct-entry midwives, who usually enter directly into midwifery education programs without a prior professional credential and Certified nurse-midwives who are registered nurses before entering midwifery training. A midwife’s duties include helping child bearing women during labor, childbirth and providing postpartum care until the baby is six weeks old.

Etymology

The word Doula is derived from the Ancient Greek word doulē, meaning female slave.

The term Midwife is derived from Middle English word mid meaning with an Old English word wif meaning woman.

Salary

An experienced doula can earn anywhere from $300 to $1000 a time in the United States of America. These rates are flexible and usually depend on the cost of living of the area where the service is being delivered.

A midwife however, can make up to $40,000 – $90,000 a year in the United States of America. The amount mentioned is the base pay and can differ based on your employer, industry, credentials, experience etc.

Certification

Though it isn’t essential for a doula to be certified by an agency or an institution, many women prefer their doulas to meet some basic requirements. These requirements can be fulfilled from various doula certifying agencies across the country or even by appearing for exams over the internet. Doulas need to attend specific number of births before they can be certified, which varies from agency to agency. A few agencies in the United States are : Childbirth International and Doulas of North America.

Midwives can be certified through North American Registry of Midwives for Certified Professional Midwife, American College of Nurse Midwives for Certified Nurse-Midwife.

References