5 Biggest Myths About Midwives

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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

labor & delivery, pregnancy health


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Vanessa Poholek Fasanella

I don't know about where you are from, but if you are near me, you might find yourself being delivered by a midwife with no doctor in sight, in a major hospital. The doctor walked in at the end to examine me and the baby, then signed something and left. Midwives do up to 90% of the work in most deliveries.

hanna... hannahsmom238

I loved my midwife. It was disappointing that she wasn't there when u had my daughter

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

My midwife was by my side the whole time which was great because my nurse barely showed her face. If I'd had an OB I would likely have delivered my baby alone in the bathroom because my midwife was the only one that noticed I was pushing.

Ladyw... Ladywithtwo

Certified Nurse Midwives are very competent. Lay midwives have little or no formal training in many states.

Definitely find out their credentials!!! I loved my nurse midwife! I would NEVER have a lay midwife deliver.

Shant... ShantiBantiMama

LadywithTwo, a midwife doesn't need to be a CNM to be educated and competent enough to deluvery babies safely. My midwife is not a CNM and has delivered hundreds of babies safely! Childbirth is not rocket science.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Yes it is. I wanted a home birth but my insurance doesn't cover it. So pay $5000 or $1000 out of pocket?? So a CNM in a hospital it was and I was happy. However I labored at home with hubby til I was complete. So it worked out well.

nonmember avatar Gretta

I delivered with a CNN (Certified Nurse Midwife). Awesome!

No way would I have delivered with a lay midwife. CPM is meaningless.

Hayley Burrows

In New Zealand we get all pregnancy care free. All our docoters visits while pregnant are free. All Midwifery related things are free. All medicine for pregnancy (excluding pregnancy suppliments) are free. We're so lucky over here. I LOVED my midwife and she made my first pregnancy journey so amazing. Midwives aren't just there to deliver a baby, they're there to be a friend, carer and support person even after your baby is born. I would never go through a pregnancy without one!

jalaz77 jalaz77

Hayley-you are so lucky. I jokingly said to hubby of we could go back before we had kids I would of went out of the country where women are cared for the way they should be prenatal, L&D, postnatal, breast feeding...all that.

nonmember avatar Marissa

We used midwives for all 3 of our kids, and I was considered 'high risk' due to my age (first kid was born when I was 36). The last delivery was, indeed, with the help of a male midwife!

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