The use of midwives has grown significantly in the United States, but there is still a large percentage of the population that doesn’t understand the nature of a midwife and exactly what they do.
Here are the most common myths and facts of midwifery:
Myth: Midwives help families have home births.
Fact: Midwives help families have births wherever they are comfortable; at home, in a clinic, in a private office, at a birthing center or in a hospital setting. More than 97 percent of births with midwives take place in a hospital.
Myth: Midwives assist families with pregnancy and labor and delivery.
Fact: Midwives assist women with general gynecology, prenatal care, labor and delivery and postpartum care; the full scope of women’s health.
Myth: Health insurance does not cover midwifery services.
Fact: All health insurance plans in Massachusetts cover midwifery services.
Myth: Midwives are not licensed medical professionals.
Fact: Midwives are licensed professionals. In fact, Steward Health Care’s Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM) are similar to nurse practitoners (NPs) in that they hold advanced degrees and are licensed by the same governing board. They also meet requirements to hold a state license to practice as a CNM. Midwifery services are on the rise as more families seek the personal care midwives offer. Families seek midwives for family planning, prenatal care, birth, postpartum care, vaginal infections, menopause and other gynecological care.
Myth: You can’t have an epidural with a midwife.
Fact: Nurse midwives can prescribe medication and women can also have an epidural. Midwives work with families to ensure on a birth plan that is right for them.
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