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Say hello to a conversation about Northern Virginia midwives. This is another part of my “All about Pregnancy Providers and Support Roles” series where I chat all about midwives with Jaely Turner, a local Northern Virginia doula.
I will be the first to admit that I didn’t do half as much research into pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum (which includes feeding, perineal care, newborn care, sleep, so. many. things.) as I now feel like I “should have”. Where do you start? Especially as a new mom! And in terms of pregnancy care providers, unless you know what questions to ask, who to ask, and where to find local resources/recommendations, it’s hard!
And so, I want to preface this conversation by saying that there is NO wrong choice in either midwife or obstetrician. There is just the right choice for you, as the pregnant person, and you alone. So in this regard, we are going to talk about the two within their own lights and their own posts. No matter whether you choose Northern Virginia midwives or obstetricians, there’s plenty to think about!
I learned so much about midwives during my chat with Jaely. “Midwife” literally means “with woman” and they can walk with you from womb to tomb. Midwives are trained healthcare professionals, providing both obstetric and gynecological services. These providers will perform much of the basic care that an OB/GYN provides. They are also trained in handling a good deal of complications as well. The biggest exception is with surgery and handling varying high-risker pregnancies. Midwives are less restricted than OBs in terms of where they can practice. They can provide care at hospitals, birth centers, clinics, your home even. Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) provide the most services. There are other types of midwives so be sure to inquire your midwife about credentials and where they can practice. In terms of coverage, be sure to inquire directly with your insurance to confirm whether a practice you want to use is covered.
With midwives, you receive personalized care with longer appointments and the scope of these appointments go beyond the standard procedures. You discuss nutrition, emotions, birth plans, mental state, this all starts in late first trimester or second. Midwives are more comfortable attending unmedicated births and they typically come with plenty of experience catching baby in varying birthing positions.
Midwives are more appropriate for low-risk pregnancies. There are some higher-risk situations where certain midwives may be able to provide care for you as well. But unless your midwife center has an OB on staff, you’ll be referred to an external OB for higher-risk pregnancies or if you develop complications during pregnancy. It depends on whether you’re in or out of the hospital and whether the midwifery practice has an OB or not.
Are you looking for local Northern Virginia midwives? Check out these highly-referred recommendations below!
Have you given birth? Interested in making memories of your newborn days? Click here to start the conversation!