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Midwife

Thinking About Homebirth – Where to Begin

Are you thinking about a home birth but wondering how to get started?  Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling. 

First, decide what you are looking for in a midwife.  What things do you feel you will need at your birth in order to feel safe and happy?  What kind of skills do you want your midwife to bring to the table?

Second, start talking to birth professionals- Doulas, natural childbirth educators, and experienced mothers in your area may be able to help you find a midwife who fits with you and has the skills and personality that you would like present at your birth.  Once you get a good list of people, then start interviewing midwives.  After an initial phone interview, you may decide to meet in person.  Bringing your partner to this meeting may be a great idea.  You will both be around her during the birth and it is important that you both have a good relationship with her.

Third, begin educating yourself.  Choosing a home birth is just the beginning of your birth journey.  You will benefit from a comprehensive natural childbirth class that covers relaxation and helps prepare your partner to help you.  Reading books, especially those geared towards home birth, can help prepare your body and mind for the process.

Fourth, do everything possible to stay low risk and healthy so that you can get the birth you desire.  Proper nutrition, chiropractic care, exercise, and, of course, education make a huge difference in having the joyous home birth you dream of.

Home birth is growing more popular and can be a wonderful option for the prepared family.

Using a Midwife (Types of Midwives)

Many women desire the benefits of midwifery care for their pregnancy but become overwhelmed when they start to look into it and find that there are many different types of midwives to choose from.

While options, certifications, and even legality vary from one state to another and from one country to the next, here are a few basic tips for deciding what type of midwife you want.  There isn’t necessarily a right answer, just different choices for different situations.

The Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)- For women who want to be attended by a midwife in a hospital setting, the CNM is a great option.  A CNM is someone who has trained as a registered nurse and then attended further training (often a master’s program) to specialize in midwifery.  A CNM has some medical background and can function in various different settings.  Many work within a hospital, some work in or own birth centers outside of the hospital, and some even attend home births (though the legality of this varies from state to state).

The Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)- For women who desire to birth at home, a CPM is often what she will choose.  A Certified Professional Midwife is usually certified through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and has completed their testing and requirements.

A CPM is not required to have the medical background that a CNM has but has completed reading, apprenticing, and testing in order to specialize in normal birth and has also studied variations and emergency situations that can occur in a birth setting.

Some states also have their own state licensing and will have licensed midwives (or LM) who have passed their state licensing.  States vary in their requirements.

There are also, in some states, Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) who have studied midwifery and apprenticed but have not necessarily licensed through an organization or school.  A DEM will work in a home or birth center setting but not within the hospital.

Knowing your options and the different types of midwives is a wonderful start to making informed birth choices for you and your baby.

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