Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So, you want a natural birth - pt.4

Which maternal care provider is right for you?  Do you prefer a Medical Model of Care or a Midwife Model of Care?

Obstretric/Gynecologist -- An OB/GYN is a highly trained medical doctor with a speciality in surgery for the female anatomy.  OBs are trained in the pathology of birth.  In other words, they are experts on every worst case scenario for a birthing woman.  Obviously, that is a great thing if you have an emergency but isn't always compatible with giving birth naturally and intervention free.

Certified Nurse Midwife -- A CNM is a nurse with a graduate degree in midwifery.  Although CNMs are occasionally found in the homebirth community, most CNMs work within a hospital or clinic setting.  Many times, malpractice insurance does not allow a CNM to attend a homebirth although they can often be found at a free-standing birth center.  

Certified Professional Midwife -- A CPM is, in my opinion. the gold-standard for a homebirth midwife.  Though there are several different routes to becoming a CPM, you can automatically assume a CPM has the training needed to attend an out-of-hospital birth, be it birth center or home.  CPMs

Direct Entry Midwife/Lay Midwife/Granny Midwife --  Although technically a DEM is any midwife who did not attend nursing school, the label typically stands only for those who are not CPMs.  While many DEMs are highly trained and highly skilled in prenatal care and attending low risk births via an extended apprenticeship, the utmost care must be taken when hiring a DEM as it is practically impossible to verify the birth records of a non-certified midwife.

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