For whatever reason you are looking for a midwife. Here how to find a midwife and some things you should know as well.
What is a Midwife?
What is a midwife? A midwife is a trained health professional who helps women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies.
Did you know there are different types of midwives? Based on their training they ave different titles – Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), Certified midwives (CMs), Certified professional midwives (CPMs) and a lay midwife.
- Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who have graduated from an accredited nurse-midwifery education program and have passed a national exam. They can practice in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- Certified midwives (CMs) are non-nurse midwives who have 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, including childbirth outside of the hospital, and have passed a national exam. Not all states permit CPMs to practice.
- Lay midwife are an uncertified or unlicensed midwife who often has an informal education, such as apprenticeship or self-study, rather than a formal education. They usually do not hold advanced degrees. Therefore, some states do have licensing for lay midwives, while other states don’t.
How to find a midwife?
Ask any friends or family members who have used one. Ask family members and friends who have had a home birth. If you don’t anyone there are many sites you can look up such as –
- American College of Nurse Midwives
- Check with your local hospital
- Call the American Association of Birth Centers at (215) 234-8068 if you are interested in delivering at a birth center
- Ask a parenting group
- Ask a local natural parenting Facebook group
How to choose a midwife?
Ask about experience. Are they licensed? How many years of experience does she have? Whether most of her experience involves home or hospital births? How does se operate her practice? What a home birth looks like at her practice (protocols and such). The plan i if an emergency happens and you have to be transferred to the hospital? Ask for testimonials or if she can provide any references.
Trust your gut as you meet different midwives. Midwifes are not only for the birth alone but provide numerous services during your pregnancy such as gynecological exams, family planning, preconception care, prenatal care and newborn care. In addition they may also provide reproductive education in fertility, nutrition & exercise, contraception, pregnancy health, breastfeeding, and quality infant care.
Cost of a midwife?
Worried about cost? Find out if your insurance plan covers midwives. If it does, get the details of how this coverage works for a midwife.
In fact, Medicaid reimbursement for CNM care is mandatory in all 50 states, and 32 of the states require other insurance plans (including HMOs) that provide coverage for pregnancy to allow women to choose a nurse-midwife as their pregnancy care provider.
If you’re uninsured, talk with your midwife about payment plans.
Inquire about all the costs associated with having a midwife upfront. With a home birth, what are you expected to purchase? What will the midwife provide? What would increase your cost? These questions will help you get the information you need to know to find out how much this will cost you. Call around first to get an idea of the average cost of a midwife in your area.
The Difference Between a OB/Gyn and a Midwife?
- Delivers only in a hospital
- Can handle high & low risk pregnancies
- Performs C-sections
- Can deliver at home, birth centers and hospitals depending on the state
- Perform vaginal births
- Provide more counseling during pregnancy process and postpartum
Wife and mother of twins. Founder of Pride & Joy Baby Planners and The Expecting Mamas Network.