Have you thought about using a midwife for your birth? Could the midwifery model of care be right for your family? Tina Pearson, a Cincinnati midwife, joins us on the blog today to answer some of your burning questions. Want more of Tina? Join us for our December Mix+Mingle, a social event for expectant families, where Tina will speak as our featured guest! Space is limited, register now.

What's the difference between a Midwife and an OB?
Certified Nurse Midwives, CNMs, are registered nurses who have completed a Master's level program in Midwifery specializing in well woman care, low risk pregnancy, prenatal care and birth. Regarding pregnancy and birth, our focus is physiologic birth, limited interventions unless medically indicated, education and empowerment of women. Nurse midwives do not perform forceps assisted deliveries or cesarean sections.

Obstetricians are highly skilled, trained surgeons who specialize in Obstetrics & Gynecology, focusing on the surgical treatment of gynecologic problems and complicated or obstructed birth.

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I know I want an epidural, can I still benefit from a midwife?
Yes! A huge part of midwifery care focuses on education of the mother and partner in preparation for birth.Appointments are not just for fetal heart tones and "belly checks". During each prenatal visit we discuss, questions, concerns, and issues appropriate to the current gestation of pregnancy. They are a great opportunity for learning and to grow a relationship between pregnant mothers, partners and their provider. WE love to involve the entire family... siblings too! 

I treat all mothers the same; education, support and empowerment. Supporting the birth experience you desire, in a safe, informed, collaborative fashion. If your midwife has concerns regarding your birth plan, she will discuss these concerns with you and your partner openly and honestly. Communication with any provider is key.

What happens if I have a cesarean section? 
If a cesarean section is necessary, whether scheduled or in labor, your midwife may still be at your side. I would recommend discussing this issue with each midwife on an individual basis. For myself, I am present at C/S with all moms I have attended in labor and try to attend scheduled birth via cesarean section of my primary clients as well. Cesarean sections are usually performed by the collaborating physician working with your midwife.

Can you attend a home birth? 
No, as a registered nurse licensed by the State of Ohio, home birth falls outside of the scope of my practice. I am licensed to attend birth at hospitals and birth centers. CNMs do attend home birth in other states; this is regulated by each states Board of Nursing and the Scope of Practice for Midwives in each individual state. Home birth for low risk, well screened, well informed and educated mothers is safe under the care and guidance of licensed midwives and physicians.

If I have a midwife do I still need a doula?
That is a personal choice, however, I think all women benefit from the care and attendance of a doula during labor and birth. Research supports the the most effective way to decrease the rate of cesarean sections is for each woman in labor to have an educated labor attendant. Much of labor occurs prior to arrival at the hospital! Education prior to birth, support at home in early and active labor are just 2 of the ways doulas assist women during pregnancy. During labor the pregnant mom and I will communicate frequently via telephone; assessing and reassuring her, however, laboring at home may be a few hours or all day prior to arrival at the hospital L&D unit. During this time doulas are often a great support to both Moms and Dads. 

In the hospital, both your doula and midwife will act as your advocate for the birth you desire in a safe and supported environment.

Learn more from Tina at our December 1st Mix+Mingle. Registration is complimentary; space is limited to 10 couples.

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