This Midwifery article is sponsored by All Women’s Healthcare.
There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding the practice of midwifery. From the belief that midwives are not trained, to the idea that they can only help with labor and delivery, midwifery isn’t completely understood by many. In truth, midwives are highly trained and capable of providing expert care to women across their lifespan.
Midwives are experts in women’s health, and posess either a Masters or Doctorate degree. They are certified by national organizations, meeting strict guidelines and are licensed in New Jersey by the State Board of Medical Examiners, as are medical doctors. Their specialties include well woman and gynecologic care, in addition to pregnancy, postpartum and newborn care.
All Women’s Healthcare, Lifeline Medical in New Jersey employs four Certified Nurse Midwives and four OB/GYNs. It is a collaborative practice where midwives and doctors work as a team. Together, they promote healthy family-centered care. The midwives specialize in physiologic birth practices while the doctors specialize in surgical procedures and high risk obstetrics.
This article is Sponsored by All Women's Healthcare.
The Difference Between Midwives and Obstetricians
In New Jersey, CNMs and Certified Midwives (CMs) can deliver babies in hospitals. They can do everything that may be necessary for a vaginal birth, including ordering an epidural. They also have full prescriptive privileges. So what’s the difference between a certified nurse midwife and an obstetrician? According to Catherine Angell McCabe, CNM NPWH at All Women’s Healthcare, there are a few.
A midwife cannot perform a cesarean section. However, they receive training as “first assists for cesarean sections,” states McCabe. This allows for continuity of midwifery care when a surgical birth is unavoidable.
Midwives also provide support to a woman during her entire labor.
“We are able to provide continuous support and the data shows that this drives down high risk interventions like epidurals and c-sections,” McCabe said.
Large systematic reviews of studies indicate that women cared for by CNMs have lower rates of cesarean birth, lower rates of labor induction and augmentation, significant reduction in the incidence of third and fourth degree perineal tears, lower use of regional anesthesia and higher rates of breastfeeding when compared to women of the same risk status cared for by physicians.
Why Choose Midwifery?
In 2014, according to the US National Center for Health Statistics, CNMs/CMs attended over 300,000 births. The midwives at All Women’s Healthcare, having attended over 5,000 births, provide this option at the Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, NJ. Here, there are birthing suites that provide for a more natural experience, much like a birth center, while providing 24/7 neonatologists, surgical options and anesthesiologists without transferring to another location.
During the birthing experience at Hunterdon Medical Center, women have many options. From the use of a hot tub, shower or exercise ball, to aromatherapy and hypnosis, comfort and movement are the focus here. With these options available, epidurals and medication use is less frequent.
Following the birth, there is immediate skin to skin and breastfeeding, with an emphasis on togetherness between mother and child. This improves a newborn’s transition to life in a stable, safe environment.
The Partnership Between Midwives and OB/GYNs
If the natural course of birthing takes a turn, the midwife has the backup of an obstetrician immediately available for consultation and collaboration. The partnership between the midwives and the OB/GYN also enhances the quality of care when it comes to high-risk women.
“The midwives at All Women’s Healthcare can manage twin pregnancies and births, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), women with pre-eclampsia and diabetes because of the collaboration with our obstetricians,” McCabe explained.
Midwives provide a type of care that is truly unique. All Women’s Healthcare aims to provide that care to anyone who seeks it. By combining expertise from midwives and doctors, All Women’s Healthcare creates a practice that really does support all women.