Pregnancy & Childbirth
Certified nurse midwives believe that pregnancy and birth are natural processes and significant milestones in the life of a woman and her family. They are trained to guide women into understanding of their bodies and the natural process of birth. “Pregnancy is a normal, healthy process, not an illness,” says Emily Young Johnson, CNM at Winneshiek Medical Center. “Midwifery care teaches women about their body and their pregnancy, and helps expectant mothers become a true part of this miraculous process.”
Similar to physicians, midwives attend to the physical care of the mother and baby by listening to the baby’s heart tones, measuring the mother’s belly and ordering tests such as ultrasounds. In addition, like many physicians, midwives are interested in more than just the physical care during pregnancy and labor. Emily says, “Midwives know that many factors contribute to the chances for a successful birth. A woman’s relationships and support systems, emotional and social stressors, spiritual beliefs, and the birthing experiences of her mother, sisters and friends have a significant impact on the pregnant mother.”
In the event of complications, the midwife will consult with a family practice doctor or obstetrician / gynecologist. If care is transferred to a doctor, the midwife continues to provide advocacy and support during the pregnancy and birth.
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Midwifery Care – a personal story
Soon, Melinda found out she was pregnant with their first child. Without family or many friends in the area, Melinda knew she wanted someone who could dedicate a great deal of time to her pregnancy, and research taught her that a midwife provided that level of care.