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Traditional Or Certified: Which Midwife Is Better For You?

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If you plan to use a midwife during your first pregnancy, you'll want to choose one that can benefit you and your baby the most. But with so many types of midwives to choose from, you may not know where to begin. Here are two of the most common types of midwives and how they can help you during your pregnancy, delivery and postpartum recovery.

Traditional Midwives

Although most traditional midwives obtain their skills through a school of traditional midwifery or apprenticeships, some often choose not to certify in their profession. Instead, they obtain their credentials and skills from years of practice. Many traditional midwives rely on word of mouth to obtain clients. In many cases, they have a vast resume or references for the good work they do for expectant mothers.

Although traditional midwives assist expectant mothers of all races, religions and backgrounds, they tend to focus on individuals who lack the financial and moral support from family, friends and their community. Because of this, traditional midwives develop a strong relationship in the community.

Traditional midwives may or may not work with regular obstetricians. However, they will confer with your physician if you develop problems during your pregnancy. However, if you desire a midwife who does have traditional schooling in the field and a licence to practice in your state, you should consider using a certified midwife during your pregnancy and delivery.

Certified Nurse Midwives

Certified Nurse Midwives often hold several post-graduate degrees in nursing, which they register and certify through the North American Registry of Midwives and a number of other professional organizations. Unlike traditional midwives, certified midwives are required to work directly with obstetricians during your care. This is very important if you have a health problem that can endanger your unborn baby. 

One of the issues you may have is pregnancy-related high blood pressure, which is a medical condition that weakens blood vessels. It often develops when the baby grows large enough to press against your blood vessels and block the flow of circulating blood.

A certified midwife can monitor your blood pressure and report any abnormal changes to an obstetrician. In most states, nurse midwives can write and order prescriptions for their clients. This benefits you if your doctor's office isn't open and you need a refill right away to treat your high blood pressure symptoms.

Certified Nurse Midwives are legally licensed and registered in all 50 states, including Alaska. You can check the credentials of your midwife online to verify that they're licensed and registered to practice in your state. Don't be afraid to ask your future midwife for a copy of their license if you still have concerns.

Things to Consider

Before you choose a midwife, make sure that you understand a few things first. Although all midwives are able to assist you with your pregnancy, they can't prevent you from receiving medical care from an obstetrician. A professional midwife will refer you to a doctor if you experience complications during your pregnancy and delivery. In addition, a professional midwife will request emergency medical assistance right away if you have problems delivering your baby.

After you delivery your baby, you can still receive care from your midwife. Postpartum care is a valuable service offered by midwives that provides many benefits for you and your baby. You'll receive direct assistance with breastfeeding your baby, as well as tips for caring for your newborn.

If you have questions about choosing the right midwife, contact your provider today for more information. Your midwifery service provider can discuss the benefits of using a midwife now or in the future. You can also visit for more information.