Why use a Midwife?
Midwives provide personalized care for women and families during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.
- Prenatal Care. Each prenatal appointment is between 30 and 60 minutes long and includes physical examinations as well as education about each stage of pregnancy and preparing for childbirth. An essential part of each visit is to build a trusting relationship with the client and their family. Partners, family members, and doulas are encouraged to attend prenatal appointments to create a foundation of support for birth and beyond. Midwives follow the same appointment schedule as obstetricians, with one prenatal appointment a month in the first 28 weeks of pregnancy, followed by twice a month until 36 weeks, and then weekly until delivery. Midwives provide detailed information about all standard medical tests during pregnancy to give families the tools to make their own decisions.
- Birth Services. Midwives provide nurturing labor, delivery, and postpartum care within the facility or at the client’s home. They strive to ensure a safe environment by providing continuous care to mom and baby. Midwives believe that active participation from family members is wonderful, and work closely with the people who will be attending the birth to ensure safety and support. Many women choose to labor and/or deliver their babies in water. Doulas are encouraged. Sometimes partners help to catch. Siblings are welcome to watch or even jump in the pool after the birth.
- Postpartum Care. The client’s care continues for six weeks after delivery, starting with a home visit the next day. Midwives offer other postpartum visits in the office at 1 week, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks. Each visit consists of an hour discussing any questions or concerns as well as checking in on the health of both mother and baby. Many mothers and families continue care as naturopathic patients.
Midwives empower mothers and families to safely take charge of their birth experience.
Midwives encourage mothers to be the primary decision-maker in their pregnancy and birth choices, through flexible and responsive care. A midwife is the coordinator, the expert and the consultant to any family wishing for an out-of-hospital birth, but not its leader. Midwives work with mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, partners, brothers, sisters, in-laws, children, doulas and other birth professionals to ensure that a mother’s need for comfort and empowerment happens in a safe and respectful manner. We work to avoid unnecessary tests and treatments; women under the care of midwives are less likely to have a cesarean, an episiotomy, and other interventions than women receiving care from doctors. Midwives provide continuous support throughout labor and birth, which has many benefits for women, infants, and families. and no known risks.
Midwives are becoming mainstream.
Midwifery care is exploding nationwide. Just three percent of births were led by midwives in 1989; that number had tripled by 2013. Washington State leads the nation in midwifery utilization; 3.36% of all babies born in the Seattle metro area in 2012 were born outside of a hospital, as were 5.28% of all babies born in Snohomish County. Washington State has one of the longest traditions in the United States of licensing midwives as well as being one of the few states where out of hospital birth is covered by insurance. Sprout will soon even be covered under Washington Apple Health (medicaid).
Pregnancy and birth are normal life events.
Midwives ascribe to the Midwives Model of Care™, which focuses on:
- monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- minimizing technological interventions
- identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The Midwives Model of Care definition above is Copyright © 1996-2001, Midwifery Task Force, All Rights Reserved.