Choosing a Certified Professional Midwife
A certified professional midwife is the expert on natural childbirth. Receiving healthcare from a certified professional midwife for low risk, healthy women who plan to give birth at home, has proven to decrease interventions in childbirth without increasing risks for birthing people or their babies.
Defining a Certified Professional Midwife:
As a certified professional midwife, both of the midwives at Hearth and Home Midwifery attended an accredited college for 4 years. They took a rigorous course load and attended classes full-time for three years and also each attended births as student midwives for a minimum of 50 homebirths. During their years of learning and training, they became experts on physiologic, natural birth. A certified professional midwife is an independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for the North American Registry of Midwives and who is qualified to provide care to their clients through the lens of informed choice, client autonomy, and individualized care. Additionally, a certified professional midwife is the only midwifery credential that requires extensive knowledge and experience specific to the homebirth setting. A certified professional midwife offers expert care on natural pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and provides unparalleled and necessary access to a normal, physiologic birth experience. The work of a certified professional midwife inherently provides a deep benefit to mothers and babies.
Choose a Certified Professional Midwife:
A certified professional midwife will take the time to know you. In a medical system in which the average length of a prenatal appointment is 17 minutes, a certified professional midwife will spend an hour with you during your prenatal and postpartum visits. A certified professional midwife will only take on as many clients as they have time for, and that means time enough to develop a relationship with you, provide thorough medical assessment of you and your baby, and have the availability to take care of you holistically.
You’re very likely to have a vaginal birth. Certified professional midwives, in the United States, have a 93.6% rate of vaginal birth amongst their clients; while the national average of vaginal birth is only around 69% for people receiving maternity and birth care from other types of healthcare providers. Additionally, people who give birth with a certified professional midwife have high rates of VBAC success and extremely high rates of breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum.
A certified professional midwife will do ongoing risk assessment to keep you safe. If the health of you or your baby deviates from being normal and low risk at any point, it’s the job of a certified professional midwife to make referrals, initiate co-care, and possibly transfer your care along the way. As the experts of natural birth, midwives are constantly assessing whether or not a client or their baby needs more medicalized care, and can help you in that transition if one is needed. That being said, they only transfer the care of a client about 10.9% of the time. You’re very likely to have a healthy, normal, fulfilling homebirth when you plan for a homebirth with a certified professional midwife.
A certified professional midwife believes in the mother-baby dyad. This means that you and your baby will be cared for as an inseparable unit. The wellbeing of each of you depends on the wellbeing of the other. When a baby is stressed, their mother’s scent, voice, and touch is the most important thing to calm them. Even during a neonatal resuscitation, which rarely happens at home, a certified professional midwife knows to keep a baby’s umbilical cord intact and to keep them on or very near their mother. The mother-baby dyad is highly respected and honored in the care of a homebirth midwife.
How to find the right Certified Professional Midwife for you:
When looking for the right certified professional midwife for you and your family, it’s important to consider the level of professionalism you’re wanting in a care provider, the connection you have to a particular midwife, and also how safe and empowered you feel while you’re in their care. Some other considerations you might also want to make, include:
Their experience level. If you’re planning on attempting a VBAC at home, you may want to ask about the midwife’s experience with VBAC.
Their reviews! You can learn a lot about their practice style by reading about reviews previous clients have written online.
Their policy for providing continuity of care. How does their call schedule work for their practice?
How they do their risk assessment for clients.
In the practice of Hearth and Home Midwifery, the midwives believe that giving birth naturally is intimately connected to what it is to be human, and that birth offers an opportunity for profound learning about one’s self. They work to uphold their professionalism by being available for each of their clients as needed, providing all of the lab services and ultrasound information that someone could receive in any maternity healthcare setting, staying committed to evidence based practices, and by respecting themselves as healthcare professionals. They build trusting relationships with their clients in order to maximize the safety and emotional connection during the course of each of their client’s midwifery care. They limit their client load to only four estimated due dates per month and offer midwifery care tailored to fit the family style, hopes, and aspirations of each of their clients. As community birth providers they each have a deep trust in their clients abilities to give birth to their babies at home.
If you want to receive prenatal, homebirth, and postpartum care from a compassionate healthcare provider who knows you, has built trust with you overtime, provides you with informed choice, and is highly skilled at supporting a mom and baby through a natural birth, then a certified professional midwife is right for you! With a certified professional midwife by your side, you can trust that you will be given the opportunity for self empowerment, have your experience be honored, be the agent of your own healthcare, and have the safety of you and your baby be the number one priority.