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Midwife Birth

Many pregnant women are turning to the option of having a midwife birth at home instead of through a medical professional in a hospital as the result of rising health care costs. Midwife birth options are becoming more common place as some women look to save money and give birth in their own home.

Despite this new evidence, the debate continues as to which option is best for giving birth at home with a midwife birth or in a hospital using traditional methods of medication and preparedness. A full delivery in the hospital can cost upwards of about $12,000 for a patient without some sort of insurance or Medicaid assistance. The overall number of U.S. home births have increased 20 percent from 2004 to 2008 and continue to rise in the years since. In 2008 there were a total of 28,357 total home births in the United States making up for about .067 percent of all births. The majority of home births delivered by a midwife were the result of a desire by mostly Caucasian women in wanting to give birth at home. This was for both financial and personal reasons. There are various pros and cons associated with a midwife birth. Each decision to give birth is a very personal one for each parent. First let's review exactly what midwife birth is and the overall duties of being a midwife.

What is a midwife and what is a midwife birth?

A midwife is a trained practitioner that complete an entire range of women health care ranging from labor and deliveries to pap smears and regular vaginal exams. There are two types of recognized midwives in the United States: the Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) and the Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM.) There are a few differences between these two types of midwives because both range in how they become nationally certified and recognized as well as the types of duties they are able to perform. It is important to note that not all states will recognize DEMs, which means they may not be covered by your insurance. They typically get their training and approval through training programs with community-based programs or allied fields. However, CNMs typically actually though an accredited nursing program and also undergo graduate studies in a midwifery program. They must pass national exams in order to become licensed and recognized by the state. In many ways, A CNM compares to an OBGYN like write prescriptions, handle labor and delivery. However, they do not do surgery or handle high-risk pregnancies. In cases were a cesarean section is necessary, a doctor will take over the delivery from that point. 

A midwife birth generally takes place at home. However, there are some cases where the delivery will be performed by a midwife but will take place in a hospital just in case there is required OBGYN assistance. 

Pros and cons to a midwife birth:


Midwife births are typically cheaper than hospital births. The pregnant woman might be more emotionally comfortable with a midwife instead of a doctor. Having a midwife birth at home also might prove to be preferable or more comfortable for the woman about to give birth because she has the option to be surrounded by family or friends instead of doctors and nurses. 


However, there are some cons when it comes to a midwife birth. For example, if something were to go wrong during a delivery at home, the woman would have to be rushed to the hospital and it could be too late for either the mother or the baby or both by the time they arrive. Because of this, the mother might feel more comfortable giving birth in a hospital where a doctor is readily available in case of a problem.

Overall, the difference between a midwife birth and a birth via OBGYN is mostly just a preference of the mother type of situation. Having the mother as comfortable as possible both mentally, physically, emotionally and financially is important to consider prior to giving birth.  If you are considering going with a midwife birth, be sure to investigate and explore  your options by talking with both a midwife as well as a doctor to really assess your pregnancy and delivery needs to find out the option that is best for you and your baby. 


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