Natural Prenatal Care
Midwives provide comprehensive prenatal care, birth, and postpartum care. Most midwives will continue postpartum care until six weeks after the baby is born. Many midwives also provide well-woman care, which includes a Pap smear, breast exam, and non-pharmaceutical birth control. Midwives see their clients in a variety of settings. Some midwives do home visits, while others will work out of an office or clinic. Most prenatal visits last approximately one hour and can include lab work, if needed. The partner and other family members are often encouraged to attend prenatal care visits.
The true value of a midwife is not how many clinical things she can do, but who she becomes to you during the most important part of your life. She will become your most trusted advisor and your strongest supporter.
Here is one mother's account of her experience with a midwife. There are thousands of similar stories from women in every corner of the world.
"My midwife always met me with a hug, a mug of nourishing tea, and lots of excitement about the wonder of my growing child. I sometimes wondered how she could be so excited over my baby after helping so many other babies. She would answer with a look of joy on her face 'each baby is a wonder!'"
"My favorite thing about my midwife visits was having my belly palpated. I loved being gently touched and learning where all the baby parts were. 'This is a knee... here is a foot...'"
"For a while, I was seeing my OB at the same time. I would wait 45 minutes for a visit and then only have 10 rushed minutes with the doctor. I always left with my head spinning and mouth full of unasked questions. But then my midwife would spend a long time reorienting me, answering my questions and celebrating with me the magic of my growing baby. She always seemed to have time to talk with me about whatever was important at that point. I grew to realize she would know exactly how to help me birth my baby at home. I totally loved my home birth and couldn't dream of a better birth!"