Midwives have been supporting women through pregnancy, labor and birth for as long as there have
been women. When we lived in small communities, typically, every collective had a wise-woman healer
who knew about the cycles of nature, the local healing plants and foods, who supported people through birthing,
illness and dying, and who served as counselor at challenging times.
In the modern day, midwives are the guardians of our belief that pregnancy and birth are healthy and normal processes for
women not illnesses and which work best the less you interfere with them.
- are deeply committed to the notion that women should be informed
decision-makers about their own health;
- take a whole-person approach to pregnancy, and understand that it's not just
about getting the baby out at the end nor is it an
- work closely with their clients to stay in touch with the physical and the emotional journey, to make sure everything is
going as it should, and to be able to pick up the small early signs that a problem
- believe that it's better to stay out of trouble than to try to get out of
Midwifery care is safe and satisfying
There are many studies to demonstrate conclusively that midwifery care is safe and satisfying for
women in a variety of health care settings. Midwifery care has been shown to lower the cesarean
section rate, and also to reduce the use of things believed to be potentially harmful to mothers and
babies, such as labor inductions, strong drugs in labor, episiotomies, and many other routine interventions women
would prefer to avoid for their own or their baby's sake.
Midwives have specialized education to take complete care of basically healthy women through
pregnancy, attend the birth, and provide ongoing women's health care after the pregnancy is over.
Most midwives have a physician they can call upon quickly in case medical intervention is necessary. Midwives work in a variety of
setting and attend births at home, in birth centers, and in hospitals.
For more information
For more information about nurse-midwives, contact the American College of
Nurse-Midwives or the Midwives Alliance of North America.
There are thousands of midwives in the United States, and probably one close to you.