A lot of women anticipate they apperceive what a midwife is, but best of them don’t really accept the differences amid a midwife and an obstetrician (or alike a midwife and a doula). Best of the women that I accept asked anticipate that midwives are ‘lay midwives’ with not actual abundant apprenticeship or training (if at all) that alone do home births, and they accept it’s unsafe. These misconceptions are why I anticipation it would be a acceptable abstraction to explain the two (OBs and midwives) so that you can accept a bigger compassionate of each. Here are the four main differences amid OB/GYNs and midwives.
Obstetrician vs. Midwife
An OB/GYN goes through four years of academic medical school, four years of a medical address that involves surgical training, and an added three years in a address specific to obstetrics and gynecology. They are accurately accomplished to administer high-risk pregnancies and can accomplish surgeries. Midwives cannot perform C-sections; they would charge to alteration their accommodating to a doctor at a hospital for a C-section (though some CNMs may abetment in the operating allowance if they assignment for that hospital). OB/GYNs can additionally use forceps and vacuums to facilitate delivery, admitting midwives are not accurately accustomed to use these additional date interventions.
There are two altered kinds of midwives, CNMs (Certified Assistant Midwives) and CPMs (Certified Able Midwives).
CNMs are women that becoming their bachelor’s degrees, again (maybe) formed as registered nurses and went aback to academy for a two or three-year master’s amount affairs in midwifery. They can bear in all settings (home, birth center, or hospital) depending on accompaniment regulations, and CNMs can appoint drugs, including affliction medication.
CPMs are women who are accountant and accomplished in midwifery only. For education, they can go to a MEAC accepted academy or one that isn’t accredited. (Depending on the program, it could booty them one year or up to bristles years to complete.) They additionally charge accept a preceptor. Through their apprenticeship (which is usually one to two years), acceptance will beam and abetment with a minimum cardinal of prenatal exams, births, postpartum exams, and prenatal exams. They are not nurses or physicians and cannot address prescriptions. Because of this, they can alone deliver in peoples’ homes (home birth) or a bearing center. Back they can alone assignment alfresco of the hospital, it is not appropriate for them to accept physician oversight.
2. Archetypal of Care
Obstetricians are accomplished to affliction for women with complicated, high-risk pregnancies and births. The medical archetypal is all about the controlled medical administration of a safe and advantageous abundance and birth. This appearance of accouchement has led to medical interventions that are not consistently all-important and are not optimal for absolute bearing outcomes. The acumen why physicians are added acceptable to arbitrate during activity and bearing is they can. Again, they accept admission to medications and instruments and can accomplish interventions and surgery, clashing midwives. (This is why in added countries women primarily accept a midwife, and again if they acquaintance complications or are high-risk, they again accept affliction from an OB.)
In best cases, OB/GYNs have never apparent a home birth or a bearing in a bearing center. I’ve actually met several residents who accept never apparent a natural birth (no affliction medication) in a hospital. They were abashed and addled back my audience had their babies artlessly with no medical interventions on purpose. A big acumen why some doctors accept not apparent a woman accord bearing artlessly is 1) best women who accept a hospital bearing are absent affliction medication. Acumen 2) doctors are accomplished to apperceive what to do back things go amiss and don’t specialize in accustomed pregnancies and births like midwives. This can account them to appetite to acknowledge and arbitrate during accustomed and advantageous activity because this is what they accept been accomplished to do.
Midwives (both CPMs and CNMs) are the experts in normal, healthy pregnancies. They are trained to focus on supporting women through their abundance and labor, accouterment approved prenatal affliction to the mother and her baby, as able-bodied as accouterment postnatal affliction and breastfeeding support. (Most OBs accept zero training in breastfeeding support.) Midwives’ model of affliction is all about “low tech, aerial touch.” They use technology such as fetal monitors, but await heavily on their analytic acquaintance and are added present and hands-on.
3. Advantageous vs. High-Risk Pregnancies
OBs are accomplished to handle any complications and high-risk pregnancies. If there are any complications with your pregnancy, or if you develop any while you are abundant and beneath the affliction of a midwife, you will be referred to an obstetrician.
Midwives are accomplished to accord with women who are accepting normal, uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies. This is the capital aberration between doctors and midwives.
4. The Bearing Experience
An OB works in accouterment in accession to actuality on alarm for his/her patients. They are acclimation their prenatal appointments, well-woman appointments, appointed surgeries, and their patients that are in activity and delivering. Because they booty assorted due dates anniversary month, there is generally added than one woman at a time in labor. This again requires the doctor to bisect his/her time amid them all. This usually agency beneath prenatal visits (typically 5-15 minutes), and beneath one-on-one alternation in labor, during the commitment and afterwards the birth. There is additionally the abeyant of your doctor not actuality on-call and not actuality present at all during your bearing back you go into labor.
A midwife works with the mother from the time accurate activity begins, all the way through the birth of the baby. They alone booty a few due dates per month, so they are abundant added acceptable to be there for your activity and birth. They accept added ability of how to help activity artlessly progress and accept added backbone back it comes to the action of activity and birth. (They accept back-ups in case of emergencies, illness, etc. that you can accommodated in advance.) They can absorb added time with their patients during their prenatal visits as able-bodied (usually one hour for anniversary appointment).
Research suggests that advantageous women and babies acquaintance college ante of accustomed bearing and lower ante of intervention, such as labor induction, affliction medications, epidurals, and added medical/surgical interventions back they are cared for by a midwife. A big allotment of that is they accept that bearing is a advantageous and accustomed action that does not charge to be intervened or disconnected (unless medically necessary) by medical interventions. Addition acumen is they do not accept admission to those medical interventions like doctors do.
Hopefully, this sheds some ablaze on the accurate differences amid the two medical professionals. One is accomplished to assignment with high-risk, complicated pregnancies, and the added is accomplished to assignment with normal, low-risk, advantageous pregnancies. One will accept to absolute their time with you due to their aerial assignment volume, and the added will be able to accord you added abundant care. Both are abundant options. It’s up to you to actuate which you would adopt for your abundance and bearing experience.