If you are expectant, you might need midwife services very soon. A midwife is highly trained to care for and support women during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Their main goal is to ensure that you are healthy in pregnancy and that you deliver safely with little intervention. Since you want someone who will walk with you through the entire pregnancy journey, you should choose someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate.
Here are four main questions that should guide you as you shop for midwife services.
1. Are They Affiliated to Any Hospital?
The main role of a midwife is support and advice, principally when a pregnancy is low-risk or uncomplicated. They focus on preparing you for labor and birth and rarely handle complications. In this regard, a midwife should be part of a larger care team consisting of specialists, such as OB-GYNs. If a midwife works in a reputable hospital, you can rest assured of a safe delivery even when a cesarean section is required.
2. Do They Possess the Relevant Training and Experience?
Before choosing a midwife, check if they possess the relevant training and licensing. In most cases, midwifery consultation is offered by a certified nurse-midwife who has obtained advanced educational credentials in both nursing and midwifery.
Also, find out if they are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. If you choose a certified midwife, ensure that they hold an undergraduate degree in a health-related course and a master's in midwifery. Besides educational requirements, choose someone who has been in practice for more than three years.
3. What Are the Services Offered?
Its always hard for most people to choose between certified midwives (CM), certified nurse-midwives (CNM), and certified professional midwives (CPM). When making a choice, enquire about services offered, such as the availability of a water birth center and the availability of modern maternity care technologies.
If still undecided, it's recommended you choose a CNM or CM. Since these midwives have relevant degrees, they can provide other services beyond pre-natal and post-natal care, such as general exams and medication prescription. More importantly, a CNM can also work with you for a long time after you have delivered. Always remember that a CPM's scope is limited, and their services span up to eight weeks after delivery.
4. Can They Be Covered by Your Health Insurance?
The average cost of midwife services in the US is about $2,000. These fees cover birth, pre-natal visits, and even postpartum visits. Before choosing a midwife, please enquire about their charges. Also, ask if they accept health insurance coverage. You don't have to choose a midwife who only accepts out-of-pocket payments while there is one who can be covered by your health insurance.
If you are expectant, finding perfect midwife services might be an uphill task. It's advisable to conduct a little midwife window-shopping to get one who meets your interests and health needs. In some cases, get referrals from friends, a primary healthcare provider, or your health insurance provider.