Women today have many prenatal choices: midwives, doctors, hospitals, birth centers, etc. It is important for women to consider what type of birth they desire, taking into consideration their own health and whether their pregnancy is considered low-risk or high-risk. For women who would like to have a natural birth experience but prefer to give birth in a medical facility, a midwife at a hospital can be the perfect compromise between a natural and medically assisted birth.
How a Midwife Helps
The midwifery approach to pregnancy and birth is based on the belief that pregnancy and childbirth are natural phases in a woman's life, as opposed to a medical issue to be treated. Midwives work closely with pregnant women and their families in a partnership, to provide a safe, gentle and natural birth experience, with as little medical intervention as possible. The relationship between a midwife and a pregnant woman tends to be much more personal, as midwives focus on not just on the physical aspects of pregnancy and birth, but the woman's emotional needs during the birth experience as well. Over the course of your pregnancy, your midwife will get to know you and will work with you to help you have the kind of birth experience you desire.
The Advantages of a Hospital Birth
While most births do, in fact, go off without a hitch, occasionally there can be issues that arise and threaten the health of the mother or the child. Some women prefer the peace of mind that comes from giving birth in a hospital, just in case there are unforeseen complications during the birth. It can be reassuring for some women to know that their care provider will have immediate access to any medical equipment that may be necessary should something go wrong. The other benefit to being in a hospital setting is that it keeps the door open for medical pain-relief options.
Midwives who practice in a hospital setting often work closely with a physician with whom they can consult should there be any complications. For woman with higher-risk pregnancies, this can be a wonderful compromise, giving them all the benefits of midwifery care while still providing the added medical care they need for the late stages of pregnancy and for birth.
Midwifery care in a hospital setting is becoming a mainstream birth choice, providing a natural, gentle birth experience combined with the security of knowing medical care is right there if needed. For many women, it is the best of both worlds.
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