If you’ve reached that stage in your pregnancy when you’re realizing, “Oh God this thing actually has to come out of me some way or another” you may first panic, and second look into ways to make delivery a little bit easier. Midwifery may be an option that comes up in your search. To many, this is a practice that sounds outdated and even related to witchcraft in some way. But midwifery is a very valuable skill and midwives have been helping bring babies into this world since ancient civilization. So before you write off this type of assistance in your delivery and move onto things like epidurals and water births, here are some things you should know about midwives.

They must be certified

Not just anybody can claim to be a midwife. Those who hope to be a midwife need to receive their certification from The American College of Nurse-Midwives. It’s a learned skill just like any other medical profession.

There are two main types

There are nurse midwives and midwives. A nurse midwife is both a certified nurse and midwife and can offer the most comprehensive care throughout pregnancy and delivery. A midwife has a bachelor’s degree and is certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

They’re highly educated

More than 80 percent of midwives have a master’s degree. Plus, as of 2010, hopeful midwives are required to have a graduate degree in order to become certified.

And they know a lot

Midwives don’t only know how to carry out a safe delivery; they know about healthy pregnancy nutrition and exercise regiments, breastfeeding tips, and infant care.

They’re on the rise

The use of midwives has actually increased in recent years. In 2005, nearly 30 percent of out-of-hospital births were attended by midwives and by 2014 that number reached 31.4 percent.

There used to only be midwives

During ancient civilization, people didn’t turn to doctors to help in delivery. Midwives were the sole professionals who helped deliver babies.

They provide comfort

Part of a midwife’s job is, in addition to helping with medical concerns, to provide comfort to the mother. Many women appreciate this when the medical staff at their hospital is busy with charts, statistics and visiting other patients.

Midwives will come to the hospital

There is a misconception that midwives are only for in-home births. In fact, the large majority of midwife-attended births take place in hospitals. A midwife is a valuable person you can add to the staff of trained professionals aiding in your birth.

There is less chance of a cesarean

Research has shown that far fewer women who utilize midwives require c-sections than those who do not use one. Midwives are trained in identifying when a cesarean is necessary, and doctors are more prone to suggest one than a midwife.

Read more at www.madamenoire.com.

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