Did you know that midwives attend only about 8 percent of U.S. births?1 Many women in the United States are unaware of who midwives are, what they do, and where they practice. In the United States, most women never even consider hiring one as their maternity care provider. This breaks my heart because midwifery is as common as obstetrics in many other developed countries, like France, the U.K., and Australia. Why is this? Studies show that births attended by midwives are just as safe as physician-attended births.2 In fact, midwifery care is associated with lower rates of C-sections and other interventions, yet it is still not as popular. In my opinion, it’s the best-kept secret of maternity care in the United States and the world.
Last week was National Midwifery Week.3 To shed some light on this significant role, I’m chatting with Mary Love about midwives and their care. Mary is a certified nurse-midwife, family nurse-practitioner, and Clinical Director of Heart of Houston Birth & Wellness Center. With Mary’s many years of experience in multiple settings, I knew she would be a wonderful person to answer the most common questions.
- What is a midwife?
- What is the history of midwives?
- Are there different types?
- What is the difference between a doctor (OBGYN) and a midwife?
- Where can women get midwifery care?
- How does midwifery care look in each setting?
- And more.
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