What is a Midwife?

What is a Midwife?

Midwife means "with woman."

"She is trained to give the necessary care and advice to women during pregnancy, labor, and the postnatal period, to conduct normal deliveries on her own responsibility and to care for newly born infants as well as having training in gynecology and child care. At all times she must be able to recognize the warning signs of abnormal or potentially abnormal conditions which necessitate referral to a doctor, and to carry out emergency measures in the absence of medical help. She has an important task in health education within the family and community." ---World Health Organization

"Throughout the world, there exists a group of women who feel mightily drawn to giving care to women in childbirth. At the same time maternal and independent, responsive to a mother's needs, yet accepting full responsibility as her attendant; such women are natural midwives. Without the presence and acceptance of the midwife, obstetrics becomes aggresive, technical and inhuman." --Professor G.J. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam

In Arkansas, midwives are licensed by the Dept. of Health Perinatal Health after completing a course of apprenticeship and passing a licensure exam. Perinatal Health regulates the practice of midwifery by establishing protocols under which the midwife practices.

Who chooses midwifery care?

The well informed who wish personalized care choose midwifery services. Those who have taken the time to educate themselves on the issues surrounding birthing. Many well educated women, doctor's, lawyer's and minister's wives, nurses, teachers, homeschoolers, and stay-at-home moms choose home birth---women from all walks of life.

The well-informed prefer the continuity of care, the good statistics and the quality bonding that midwifery services afford. They like never being separated from their new baby. They enjoy the personal surroundings of home. They prefer the non-interventive, drug-free, germ-free, environment of home.

Is home birth for you?

If you have no serious health factors and have never had any previous birthing complications, midwife attended home birth could be an option for you. If you are interested, a free consultation is available with the midwife. There are many books and reprints to support the information presented here. There are many home birth parents who would be glad to talk to you. Even if you are a little hesistant, make an appointment to meet the midwife. You will be glad you did!

Did you know?

The United States ranks 48th in the world for infant mortality. "Every single country in the European region with perinatal and infant mortality rates lower than the United States uses midwives as the principal and only birth attendant for at least 70% of all births." --World Health Organization. Only 3.4% of births in the United States are attended by midwives.

Arkansas has the worst infant mortality rate and the highest cesarean section rate in the U.S. Arkansas statistics show the fetal mortality rate for physicians as 8.3/1000, but for licensed midwives as only 4.0/1000. The cesarean rate for Arkansas is 43% and at UAMS it is 59%.

According to Arkansas Department of Health, the #1 risk of hospital delivery is infection. MRSA, HIV, HepB, Staph, Strep are not found in a healthy home. These diseases can be caught at the hospital.

Deb's statistics show she has never had a stillbirth and only has a 3.8% cesarean rate. Her average mother is 28 years old, gains 35 pounds, has her 3rd baby at 41 weeks, weighing 8 pounds 5 ounces, with a 9-10 Apgar after 5 hours of labor, 30 minutes of pushing, and no tears.  She has been a midwife for 30 years and attended approximately 1,000 births.