A midwife is a skilled health care provider who assists healthy women during labour, delivery, and postpartum care. Midwives can deliver infants at birthing centres or at home, but the majority of them can also deliver babies in hospitals.

Midwives are frequently chosen by women who prefer minimal medical assistance and have experienced no difficulties during their pregnancy. Because giving birth to twins is more challenging than giving birth to a single child, many doctors advise against hiring a midwife unless it is under the supervision of a doctor.

There are various stages of training for midwives:

• Registered nurses who have completed an accredited nurse-midwifery education programme and passed a national exam are known as certified nurse-midwives.

• Non-nurse midwives who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a health profession, have finished an accredited midwifery education programme, and passed a national exam are known as certified midwives. Only a few states allow CMs to work.

• Non-nurse midwives who have passed a national exam and have training and practical experience in childbirth, including deliveries outside of the hospital, are known as certified professional midwives.

• Lay midwives aren’t trained or licenced, but they’ve completed an apprenticeship or have undergone informal training. Your midwife can help you before, during, and after you give birth.

Roles and responsibilities

• Family planning and preconception care will be provided by your midwife.

• Perform prenatal checkups and test orders.

• Keep an eye on your bodily and mental well-being.

• Assist you in making your birth plans.

• Give you advice on diet, exercise, medications, and how to keep healthy.

• Provide you with information and advice regarding pregnancy, labour, and newborn care.

• Provide you with emotional and practical assistance during your pregnancy.

• Admit you to the hospital and discharge you.

• Give birth to your children.

• When necessary, refer patients to doctors.

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