If you’re planning on becoming pregnant, you have some important considerations. Early in your pregnancy is the time to choose your maternity care provider. This major decision can influence:
- The care you receive and the effects of that care on you and your baby.
- The quality of your relationship with your care provider(s).
- The choices and options you will have, particularly during labor and birth.
- Your involvement with decisions about your care.
If you are a healthy childbearing woman, like most pregnant women in the United States, you can choose a doctor (obstetrician) or a certified nurse-midwife as your maternity care provider.
While both obstetricians and certified nurse-midwives are medically trained and have your best interest and that of your baby at heart, they have contrasting perspectives. These are often referred to as the “Midwifery Model of Care” and the “Medical Model of Care.” While the midwifery model describes how midwives usually practice and the medical model describes how doctors generally practice, many providers, including Carolina OB/GYN, combine elements of both models.
Here are some contrasts between the two models:
Midwifery Model of Care
- Focuses on health, wellness, and prevention.
- Views labor/birth as normal physiological processes.
- Uses interventions at lower rates, and as needed.
- Emphasizes that “mother gives birth.”
- Provides individualized care.
Medical Model of Care
- Focuses on managing problems and complications.
- Views labor/birth as dependent on technology.
- Uses interventions at higher rates.
- Emphasizes that “doctor delivers the baby.”
- Provides a similar standard of care for all women.
Today, many women are choosing the services of certified nurse-midwives. They like the personalized attention and the focus that CNMs place on caring for the whole woman.
A midwife will work hand in hand with you during your pregnancy. They will be by your side through labor and delivery, and with you following the birth of your baby. Their services include:
- Pregnancy care.
- Labor support, including pain relief.
- Childbirth and newborn care.
- Breastfeeding support.
- Family planning and birth control services.
- General gynecologic care, including well-woman exams.
- Nutrition counseling.
Years of experience and continuing education enable CNMs to provide an effective and caring approach to all aspects of women’s health care.
Our three certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) have completed their master’s degree in nursing and are accredited through the American College of Nurse Midwifery. They are trained to recognize problems that might occur during pregnancy and delivery and consult with one of our five, female board-certified physicians. Your midwife will remain by your side and assist with the delivery, whether it is vaginal or cesarean, providing support along the way.
Carolina OB/GYN is proud to have been the area’s first practice to introduce midwifery to the Lowcountry, and we’re proud to be the area’s only practice to offer the services of a certified nurse mid-wife 24/7.
If you’re planning a pregnancy, Carolina OB/GYN can help you choose a care provider who shares your values and will meet your needs. Whether you choose to deliver with one of our midwives or one of our board-certified physicians, we’re Women Caring for Women, and we provide safe, comprehensive care. We’re with you all the way!