What is a Midwife?

Written by Dotti Kirkpatrick.

Midwives are the experts in normal maternity care.

A midwife is recognized throughout the world as the most appropriate maternity care provider for most women. A midwife is a trained professional who offers expert care, education, counseling, and support to a woman and her newborn during the childbearing cycle. The midwife works with each woman and her family to identify their unique physical, social and emotional needs. In addition, many midwives provide well-woman gynecological care and family planning services. Midwives know how to watch for and identify potential or actual complications, and they can provide emergency treatment until additional assistance is available.

Complete maternity care consists of prenatal care, intrapartum care and postpartum care for both mother and her newborn.

Here are the services I provide:

Prenatal Care

  • Preconception interviews
  • Prenatal visits:
    • Every three weeks in the first and second trimesters for one hour
    • Every two weeks in the third trimester
    • Home visit at 37 weeks, weekly visits thereafter until birth
  • Medical/pregnancy history
  • Risk assessment
  • Lab work, including blood grouping, Rh factor, antibody screening, rubella titre, hepatitis screen, hematocrit/hemoglobin, HIV if requested
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Urine checks at each visit
  • Blood pressure/pulse monitoring
  • Weight gain assessment
  • Fetal well-being assessment: heart rate, growth, position, activity
  • Pregnancy/childbirth education
  • Access to sonograms if needed
  • Emotional support
  • Labor Pool with reservation
  • 24 hour access to your midwife

Intrapartum Care (Birth)

  • Full labor assessment, including dilation, effacement, fetal position, blood pressure monitoring, continuing fetal well-being assessment, etc.
  • Pain management without drugs
  • Relaxation techniques, including massage, water therapy, etc.
  • All equipment for birth provided
  • Emergency equipment, if needed
  • Warm compresses for avoiding tears
  • Full family involvement encouraged
  • Full newborn assessment done in presence of parents
  • Informed consent from parents on eye prophylaxis, oral vitamin K
  • Breastfeeding education and assistance
  • Postpartum instructions on care of mother and baby, orally and written

Postpartum care

  • Home visits on Day 1 and Day 3
  • Postpartum visits on Day 10, 3 weeks, 6 weeks
  • Newborn screen (PKU)
  • Breastfeeding assistance
  • Newborn well-being assessment
  • Maternal well-being assessment
  • Birth Certificate/Social Security number filed
  • Pap done at 6 weeks or after
  • Family Planning counseling
  • 24 hour access to your midwife

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