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Should I Get A Midwife To Assist In My Childbirth?

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 08, 2023

    Should I Get A Midwife To Assist In My Childbirth?

    For many women, pregnancy is one the most exciting times in their lives. But, it can also be quite stressful, especially when you aren’t sure what’s happening with your baby. If you want someone who can answer your questions and provide compassionate care during your pregnancy, yet feel like going to the OB/GYN doctor is too much, consider seeing a midwife instead. On some level, they can offer support that doctors provide.  

    How Midwives Help Mothers Through Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery

    Midwives obtain the necessary education and training to provide care for pregnant women throughout pregnancy and childbirth. 

    They can assist you with your questions or concerns regarding the physical changes associated with pregnancy and how your unborn child grows inside your womb. They can give prenatal care, emotional support, education to mothers, and assistance during labor and delivery. 

    Prenatal care 

    They can carry out regular antenatal checks that are similar to those done by doctors: taking details about your past medical history, examining you (including carrying out blood pressure tests and other vital signs), listening to the fetal heartbeat, asking questions about how well you feel, offering advice on how best to care for yourself during this time, checking whether there are any problems with your pregnancy or if there are any complications that need addressing right away – such as bleeding or pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure). 

    Emotional support

    They also provide emotional support throughout your journey by answering any questions they can while making sure that everything is going smoothly before telling their patients what steps they need to take next, like booking an appointment with their OB/GYN, so that they can discuss possible concerns. 


    A midwife can provide you with information and guidelines on family planning, nutrition, and care for one’s self while pregnant. 

    Assistance during labor and delivery

    With certification and training, they can insert intravenous fluids and administer medicines as ordered by the physician, and perform sutures to control bleeding. 

    Additionally, a midwife can help ensure that both mother and baby are healthy following delivery by providing postpartum care. This includes things like supporting breastfeeding, answering questions about bonding with your child, helping them get back in shape after giving birth, newborn care, etc.  

    Does Seeing a Midwife Mean Giving Up On Your Doctor?

    For many mothers, one of the best benefits of approaching a midwife is it’s usually more affordable than when they set an appointment with an OB/GYN. But, does seeing a midwife mean giving up on your doctor?

    The answer: no, particularly if you have a high-risk pregnancy

    A midwife works closely as a team with other healthcare professionals involved in your care, including your general physician and obstetrician. They may also have access to the same resources as doctors, such as your family history, laboratory test results, ultrasound scans, etc. 

    But, the care a midwife can provide is limited. They are not allowed to handle emergency cases alone and cannot – without the order of a board-certified doctor – administer life-saving medicines, such as cardiac meds and steroids. Likewise, mothers cannot go to midwives for prenatal care if they have a sensitive or complicated pregnancy. High-risk pregnancies MUST be attended to by a doctor. 

    Midwives are a great support system throughout pregnancy, but some things are out of their scope. Case in point, only a doctor can interpret the results of your ultrasound scan, laboratory test results, etc. Only they can diagnose if you have an underlying condition and order medicines if necessary. Likewise, only doctors can determine if your pregnancy is coming along just fine. 

    The bottom line is that a doctor’s role is indispensable.  

    Final Reminders

    A midwife is a healthcare professional who has undergone extensive training, and has specialized knowledge (licensed) about pregnancy and childbirth. You can go to them for antenatal care, emotional support, and education. They can also assist in childbirth. However, throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum, you must work with your doctor still.

    It is particularly important to note that the Department of Health encourages mothers to give birth in appropriate medical facilities staffed by trained and certified professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives). 

    Learn more about Labor and Delivery here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 08, 2023

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