Every birth at UnityPoint Health is a unique and momentous occasion. We want our soon-to-be-mothers to be comfortable and relaxed throughout their entire pregnancy, labor and delivery. We understand labor and delivery can be different with each birth, and we give you the choice to welcome your baby in a way that best fits your needs and birth plan.
What is the Philosophy of a Midwife?
Midwives stress that pregnancy, labor and birth are natural events for you and your body. Practicing a more hands-off approach, midwives encourage you to trust your instincts and make your own decisions throughout your pregnancy and delivery to ensure an accommodating and comfortable experience. They support you throughout labor and birth while letting nature take its course in giving you and your family a new life.
How does a Midwife Differ from a Family Medicine Physician or Obstetrician?
Family medicine physicians and obstetricians receive different education than midwives. While family practitioners and obstetricians go to medical school, midwives have a bachelor's degree and some may have a master's or doctoral degree. Although they are not doctors, midwives are trained in everything related to pregnancy and birth and pass exams to become Certified Nurse Midwives.
What Services Can OB/GYNs and Midwives Provide?
Both nurse midwives and OB/GYNs offer family planning, full spectrum pre-conceptual care, delivery and postpartum care. Additionally, both practitioners also offer gynecological care, including routine pap smears and preventative screenings. A big difference between midwives and obstetricians or family practitioners is the ability to deal with high-risk pregnancies and complications during birth. Midwives are unable to perform surgeries, cesarean sections (C-section). Nonetheless, midwives are fully skilled to deliver your baby safely in normal, low-risk circumstances and all nurse-midwives are trained to recognize problems that might occur during pregnancy and delivery. If an emergency situation arises during labor, our 24/7 OB hospitalist can be called to assist, and your midwife can stay by your side to provide additional support.
*To determine if your pregnancy is considered high-risk, your first visit to your physician's office will include a thorough medical history and exam.
Is a Midwife Right for You?
If you experience a low-risk pregnancy with no complications, a midwife could be an excellent option for you and your family. Their unique approach allows the birth of your new baby to occur naturally and with no medical intervention, unless needed. Midwives are specially trained to accommodate you, your baby and your family.
Many expecting mothers choose a midwife because they want additional emotional support before, during and after the delivery. A midwife works with you and your family and becomes familiar with your preferences over the course of your pregnancy. Because midwives are actively involved in the preparation of the delivery, you may be more relaxed and comfortable when your due date finally arrives.
When deciding whether you prefer to have an OB/GYN or midwife, it is important to consider your medical history, consult with your primary care provider and decide what is most important to you. Some questions to ask when making your decision should include:
- With which caregiver will you be more comfortable?
- Is your pregnancy normal or high-risk?
- What kind of experience and in what setting do you wish to give birth?
Birthing Rooms at UnityPoint Health
Although UnityPoint Health does not staff midwives, we want you and your family to experience a personalized birth in our private birthing rooms with a Certified Nurse Midwife of your choice. If any complications arise, our fully-trained staff can offer the care and support you need throughout your stay with us.