Midwives are experts in normal, physiological pregnancy and birth!
Additionally nurse-midwives are trained in primary women’s health and gynecological care.
The term midwife means “with women”. For as long as women have been having babies other women have supported them.
Traditional midwives still practice techniques passed down throughout the generations in countries throughout the world. In many countries midwifery care is the standard for childbearing women and obstetrical care by a physician is reserved for those who are considered high risk.
In the United States midwifery has a long and complicated history. We have gone from having the majority of births attended by midwives out of the hospital to the majority attended by physicians in the hospital. Now midwifery care is increasing and birthing out of the hospital is becoming a more popular and viable option.
Recent studies indicate midwifery care improves health outcomes, lowers costs, and increases client satisfaction. Studies are also showing birthing out of the hospital, at home or in a free standing birth center is safe for those who are considered low risk.
Check out The American College of Nurse-Midwives site for further information.