5 Biggest Myths About Midwives

midwifeAnother day. Another study showing better outcomes if pregnancy care is led by midwives. The decision of whether to go with a midwife or a doctor is a difficult one. When I was pregnant I was seeing an Ob/Gyn in a practice that included a midwife. It took a lot of thought and a leap of faith for me to decide to let the midwife handle my pregnancy and delivery instead of the doctors. But with every new study, that decision is becoming less of a leap of faith and more of a safe bet. This latest study shows how working with a midwife can be better for both you and your baby. So why are women still so resistant? Here are some of the reasons why we think midwives aren't as competent as doctors are -- and why we should reconsider those assumptions.


1. Midwives are too granola and not scientific enough. Many midwives are actually certified nurse practitioners who have done intensive training. They're not just random women who do Google searches on alternative medicine, chant, and hope for the best. When you're looking for a midwife, check out her credentials and education. You may be surprised to find out she's every bit as rigorous as a doctor. It's just that midwives are often focused as much on expecting women as on their babies, and they're more open to trusting the women they treat.

2. Midwives can't help you in a crisis. Even if you're working with a midwife on a home birth, most will create contingency plans for everything that can go wrong in labor and delivery. They are definitely prepared for all kinds of emergencies. If you're in doubt, have a conversation with your midwife about how she's handled previous crises.

3. My insurance probably won't cover a midwife. This problem is getting better. Currently, 33 states require insurance to cover midwives. Your best bet is to find a midwife who works with a practice of doctors. That's how I found my midwife. More insurance companies should embrace midwife practices, though. A midwife-led pregnancy is less expensive.

4. My pregnancy and baby are just not safe enough with a midwife. Nope! Women who work with a midwife are less likely to lose their babies before 24 weeks and they're less likely to give birth before 37 weeks. They also have fewer epidurals, fewer episiotomies, and fewer assisted births.

5. All midwives are female. Actually, I just threw that one in for fun. I know of the two in The Mindy Project, but I actually think it's pretty rare. But they're out there.

Do you think people's attitudes about midwives are changing?


Image via eyeliam/Flickr

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