The word “midwife” likely means different things to different people. For the majority, the likely picture is an outdated one. Even some of my closest friends and neighbors are often surprised to learn that I take care of women for their gynecologic needs, that I can prescribe medicines, or even that I have a Master’s degree in Nursing/Midwifery.
The number one comment I get when I tell women that I can take care of them is “Oh, honey, I don’t need you anymore! I am finished having babies.” They (laugh). I then explain…
Yes, I do take care of women throughout pregnancy and birth, but I also care for women for all of their normal gynecologic needs from the teen years through menopause. This includes routine health exams, family planning and treatment of minor problems. I believe that the woman should be a partner in her own health care, leading to greater satisfaction with the health care experience.
Second question: Don’t I need a doctor? Answer to that one is, it depends on your condition. Most pregnancies (85%) are normal, and most women are healthy. Certified Nurse Midwives and Certified Midwives are experts at normal. We are also trained to work within the healthcare system and with other health professionals, including physicians, to ensure that the patient receives the best care possible. If the patient’s condition warrants it; consultation, collaboration or transfer to a physician can be arranged. Today the president of ACOG, John C. Jennings, M.D. made this wonderful statement about collaboration in honor of midwifery week. I am thankful for all of the collaborating physicians that I have worked with through the years and their dedication to patient care. I believe that the best patient care is delivered when midwives and physicians work as a team based on the needs of the patient.
Nurse Midwives work in all areas of the State of Kentucky providing care in private offices, federally qualified health centers, in hospitals and in homes. We work in all areas throughout the U.S. If you have any questions about midwifery, feel free to ask… #WomenNeedMidwives. #MidwivesMakeADiffernence.