Reasons to Choose a Midwife for Your Pregnancy Care

Laboring Woman in a tub

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Using a midwife is growing in popularity as increasing numbers of women choose midwifery care in some form or another for their pregnancy and birth. Here's why women choose midwives for their pregnancy care.

They Are Low-Risk

Midwives generally only take care of low-risk patients. This means that your midwife has been trained to ensure that you do your best to stay healthy and low-risk throughout your pregnancy by guiding you in your choices towards healthy options. It also means that they are constantly watching to ensure you are within these healthy parameters (like a lifeguard, only stepping in when needed). Occasionally, a high-risk practice will have a midwife on staff to provide patient education.

They Want to Avoid a C-Section

Midwives tend to have much lower labor intervention and induction of labor rates, which, when combined with a low-risk population, results in lower c-section rates. This eases the minds of many women who are hoping to avoid unneeded interventions. It also means that midwives have plenty of ways to help you cope with pregnancy and labor that don’t involve medications when they aren’t needed. Some midwives do use medications in labor, depending on the location of your birth. Your midwife is also more likely to spend time with you, helping you through labor.

They Enjoy Longer Prenatal Care Visits

On average, you will have more time with your midwife during prenatal visits than you would with an obstetrician. This is great not only to get to know your midwife and vice versa but for them to answer your questions thoroughly and explain what is going on. This can have a very calming influence on pregnant women.

They Like the Midwifery Style of Pregnancy Care

A midwife is more likely to be your partner in your care, rather than the director. You are more likely to have them ask you to take part in your care. Some practices have patients weigh and measure themselves to see for themselves how to care for their bodies. By trusting a pregnant person's body and instilling that faith, the midwife is helping support you in the natural sense of pregnancy and birth.

They Want More Options for Where to Give Birth

Many midwives do work in hospital settings, but you are also more likely to find midwives who work in birth centers or perform home births. This can offer you more options for where to have your baby depending on your preferences.

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.