There are many common midwife myths that you have likely heard. Dispelling these myths is incredibly important to allow you to make the best decision for your birthing process. When you make your choices based on common misconceptions, you may not make the best possible decision. The field of midwifery is surrounded by many common midwife myths that can be particularly misleading.
Common Midwife Myths
It is important to understand common midwife myths when you are deciding if you want to obtain midwife services. The midwife is commonly seen as a near-mythical figure, like the village elder that attended all births in villages of old. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective) this is a definite misconception. Midwife services have come a long way and provide many benefits for expecting mothers. Here are a few of the most common midwife myths and the truth about midwife services.
Midwives Don’t Have Formal Education
Many people think that midwives do not have a formal education and, therefore, offer less effective services. This is false. The majority of midwives have a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. They are required to pass a national certification exam before they are allowed to practice as a midwife. Each midwife will have different certifications depending on their level of education and experience. CNMs, or certified nurse midwives, are required to have a master’s degree in order to practice as a midwife.
Midwives Only Work with Pregnancy and Birth
It is commonly thought that midwives only work with pregnant women and the birthing process. However, midwives are able to provide many additional services. Well woman services are often offered by midwives and help to keep women in the best possible health. By providing long-term services, women are able to form a close connection with their midwives. This helps to provide greater emotional support if they do use midwife services during their birthing processes. A midwife service may even provide care services for the entire family, like we do here at My Family Birth Center.
Giving Birth will be More Painful
The major difference that many people know about midwife services is that they tend to focus on a natural, bodily approach to giving birth. Due to this, they assume that this means that they will have to forego any methods for managing their discomfort. However, many women who have given birth with both a doctor and a midwife state that they were much more comfortable throughout the birth with their midwife. Midwives have many techniques available to help relieve discomfort. Even if you forego the use of an epidural in favor of more natural techniques, you are likely to have a much more comfortable process. It is true that midwife services take a different approach to birthing than traditional medical processes. They tend to allow the mother to have the most control possible over the birthing process. This both helps to empower the mother and ease the birthing process.
Midwives Only Oversee Home Births
While it is certainly an option for a midwife to oversee a home birth, they also offer many additional options. A birth center is a great choice for giving birth with a midwife. These places are able to provide a comfortable, relaxing environment for mothers to give birth. Many midwives work in hospitals, as well. With the services of a midwife, you have many available options for the location at which you wish to give birth. It is simply not true that midwives only oversee births in the home.
It is Less Safe to Give Birth with a Midwife
This common midwife myth tends to come along with the myth that midwives don’t have formal training. However, it is important to note that it is perfectly safe to give birth with a midwife’s services. Midwives are highly trained professionals that have a substantial amount of education and experience. The major difference between a midwife and giving birth in a hospital is the approach that they take toward pregnancy, labor, and birth. A midwife emphasizes an approach that is based on normal, bodily processes. In fact, a substantial amount of research has been shown to support the idea that this may be a safer alternative than intense medical interventions. They look at birthing and pregnancy as a natural process.
It is also important to note that midwives are often able to provide more intensive care to their clients. This is because they take on fewer patients at a single time than doctors. Midwives focus on providing thorough services to their clients. This approach tends to provide additional support for women throughout their birthing process.
Doulas are the Same as Midwives
Doulas and midwives are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, these are two very different roles during the birthing process. A doula helps to provide emotional and physical support during the birthing process. They generally have a few meetings with the client prior to labor to form a connection and improve the effectiveness of their support. However, doulas do not provide medical care throughout the birth. The midwife provides all of the medical support throughout the pregnancy and birthing process.
Midwives are Expensive
The idea that midwives are expensive is a common midwife myth. Midwife services tend to be far less expensive than the costs that are seen in a hospital. In addition, insurance often covers part or all of a midwife’s services. When you don’t have insurance, midwife services will generally be the most affordable option. When you do have insurance, midwife services are still likely to be the most affordable option. It is helpful if we are able to provide a request of benefits to your insurance provider to determine your eligibility for coverage.
There are many common midwife myths that lead to individuals overlooking the benefits of midwife services. Whenever you are unsure of a common midwife myth, you should ask for clarification from a midwife. Here at My Family Birth Center, we provide an array of services to improve your health, both during pregnancy and outside of it. To learn more about our services or for clarification on common midwife myths, contact us at My Family Birth Center today!