About Midwifery: Education and Regulation

 

Types of Midwives

Women have been helping each other have babies for millennia; midwife literally means “with woman”.

Midwifery USA

Honoring the The Farm Midwives at MANA 2010 Conference

Pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding have been a normal part of life since time began.  Community midwives around the world have always been the go-to people for helping bring babies into the world; with their compassion and learned skill in creating a safe space for the mothers to let go and for the babies to arrive.  This was the case in the United States until the early 20th century when medical doctors and state health departments started intervening in the midwives’ work and birth became seen as a dramatic, unnatural event.

Internationally Midwives Making a Difference (ICM 29th Triennial Congress)

The history of women helping women have babies is vast and rich, full of amazing storytelling and strong women, and families passing down skills generation to generation.  Most midwives know that they carry on this tradition, however knowing the stories and having the experience is frequently not enough in North American society and western medical culture; it has become required for women to prove themselves capable of helping other women have babies.  In order to fit into the system, midwives have been working for almost half a century to become recognized health care providers in the U.S., specializing in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care.  There is still work to be done, as half of the states in the U.S. do not recognize professional midwifery care, let alone homebirth.To simplify things, in the United States, there are two types of midwives:

MANA midwives

The legitimate research that has been published in both North America and Europe fully supports that the care a midwife gives to her clients results in good outcomes, comparable to a similar low-risk population in the hospital.

 

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