The word midwife means “with woman”. As a nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner I provide personal primary healthcare to you from your first period to menopause and beyond, including: prenatal care, labor and delivery care, care after birth, gynecological exams, newborn care, assistance with family planning decisions, preconception care, menopausal management, medication prescriptions, and counseling in health maintenance and disease prevention.
Midwives practice a wellness and holistic approach to pregnancy, birth, and women's health care. Midwifery care focuses on the promotion of health and the development of individual responsibility. Midwives take time to listen to you. Midwifery is a collaborative practice that involves: midwives, nurses, obstetricians, pediatricians, and other specialists as needed. Midwifery honors and respects the wisdom and dignity of all women and the sacredness of pregnancy and birth.
Why Would I Choose a Midwife for Care During My Pregnancy?
Midwives believe you need time and special attention so you can be healthy and able to take care of your baby. Midwives specialize in providing support, regular health care, and in helping you get any additional care needed. Midwives are experts in knowing the difference between normal changes that occur during pregnancy and symptoms that require extra attention.
Nurse Midwives Philosophy of Care
We, the midwives of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, affirm the power and strength of women and the importance of their health in the well-being of families, communities and nations. We believe in the basic human rights of all persons, recognizing that women often incur an undue burden of risk when these rights are violated.
Should I See a Midwife if I am Not Pregnant?
Many women go to their midwife for annual check ups, family planning, and to get care for common infections that happen to women. For example, your midwife can answer questions about all the methods of birth control, help you decide what is best and safest for you, and prescribe it for you.
We believe every person has a right to:
- Equitable, ethical, accessible quality health care that promotes healing and health
- Health care that respects human dignity, individuality and diversity among groups
- Complete and accurate information to make informed health care decisions
- Self-determination and active participation in health care decisions
- Involvement of a woman's designated family members, to the extent desired, in all health care experiences
We believe the best model of health care for a woman and her family:
- Promotes a continuous and compassionate partnership
- Acknowledges a person's life experiences and knowledge
- Includes individualized methods of care and healing guided by the best evidence available
- Involves therapeutic use of human presence and skillful communication
- We honor the normalcy of women's lifecycle events. We believe in:
- Watchful waiting and non-intervention in normal processes
- Appropriate use of interventions and technology for current or potential health problems
- Consultation, collaboration and referral with other members of the health care team as needed to provide optimal health care
We affirm that midwifery care incorporates these qualities and that women's health care needs are well-served through midwifery care.
Finally, we value formal education, lifelong individual learning, and the development and application of research to guide ethical and competent midwifery practice. These beliefs and values provide the foundation for commitment to individual and collective leadership at the community, state, national and international level to improve the health of women and their families worldwide.
© American College of Nurse Midwives