If you’re an American, the word “midwife” may be a bit unfamiliar to you. In many other places in the world – most notably the United Kingdom – midwives are a well known facet of healthcare as the primary care providers for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
Midwives provide client-centered care, a personalized and evidence based style of practice that is focused on the individual instead of one-size-fits-all treatment. Midwifery care includes prenatal care, delivery, and postpartum and infant care (as well as well body care like pap tests, STI screening, etc). Midwives work in a variety of settings, from hospital to birthing center to home birth (depending on the local state’s laws and their practice style). Midwives are primary care providers for pregnancy and childbirth, which means they are trained to work independently. Midwives often collaborate with other health care professionals including physicians when needed to provide the best care for the individual client’s needs.
There are several different types of midwives in the United States, but I’m a Certified Professional Midwife and Wisconsin Licensed Midwife. For me this means that I hold a degree in midwifery from MCU, and passed a national exam to become a CPM. To keep my certification active, I hold certifications in CPR and NRP (neonatal resuscitation) and complete CEUs each year. I maintain licensure as a midwife in the state of Wisconsin. I work exclusively in the out-of-hospital setting with low risk clients, and collaborate with other local providers when necessary including transfer of care for hospital birth when indicated.