A Bit of History
Midwife means “with woman”. It comes from an English translation of the German word “mit wife” and for many centuries has been used to describe the individual who was “with women” in childbirth. Midwives around the globe have been the primary caretakers of birthing women and their newborn babies throughout history, The oldest known reference to midwives can be found in the Old Testament in the book of Genesis.
“Midwives offer evidence-based health care services. In today’s world of high technology, midwifery services provide the individualized care women need.”
– Doug Laube, MD, Former President, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
“Studies demonstrate over and over again not only the high quality of care that midwives offer to women, but also the enormous satisfaction that women experience with their midwifery care.”
– Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, Our Bodies, Ourselves, Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
Pregnancy and Birth
At CCOG, we provide a team approach to the care of pregnant women and their babies.
The prenatal care provided by your midwife is parallel to the care you receive from our physicians; this includes regular office visits to assess your blood pressure, weight, urine, fetal heart rate, and fetal growth and well-being. As a team, we will review your obstetrical and medical histories and do a full physical exam to detect any problems that could affect your pregnancy. Prenatal testing will be explained thoroughly and provided when appropriate. Each visit will include time for your questions and to discuss nutrition, exercise, the emotional and physical changes of pregnancy, preparation for labor and birth, and infant care. For any medical complications during your pregnancy or birth, the midwives will collaborate with the physicians and will refer you to their specialized care when medically indicated. Usually during your care with us, you will have appointments scheduled with both midwives and physicians interchangeably.
When Labor Begins
When labor begins, our CCOG midwife/physician team will continue to assess both you and your baby’s well being, as well as labor progress. The midwife/physician team will collaborate to ensure good care of you and your baby during labor and birth. You and your support person(s) will be involved in all decision making. The focus will be on facilitating the normal birth process as well as assisting you in achieving the birth experience you desire. Nurse-midwives are knowledgeable in pharmaceutical as well as non-pharmaceutical methods of pain relief in labor. You will be encouraged to utilize position changes, massage, back rubs, showers, and aqua therapy to manage your progress through the birth process. Light fluids and nutrition will be encouraged to maintain labor energy. During the delivery of your baby, the midwife may use warm compresses or gentle oil massage to help your perineum gently stretch and minimize the need for an episiotomy.
After delivery, the midwife will assist you in establishing your choice of infant feeding, monitor your recovery, and prepare you for your return home as a new mother and family. Nurse-midwives are breastfeeding experts and will provide the education and support you need to establish a great breastfeeding start with your baby.
Your postpartum care will include a checkup between 4-6 weeks after delivery when the midwife will evaluate your healing, discuss and provide family planning options, and review diet, exercise, and other health issues. Your healthcare relationship with your midwife can continue long after the birth of your child. Nurse-midwives provide well-woman care, which includes annual exams, pap smears, breast exams, and normal gynecological care.
Nurse-midwives are caring, competent healthcare providers, who are dedicated to providing the best possible care to women and their families. Experience for yourself the historic midwifery commitment to truly be “with women”.
Annual examinations with a midwife include a complete health history, physical examination, and a thorough assessment that is shared with you.
Screening and prevention services include annual exams, vaccinations, and referrals for mammography, laboratory testing, or specialist consultations as needed.
Midwives manage common health problems and prescribe medications as needed. Your midwife can provide you with current information about immunizations and the control of communicable diseases such as the flu, hepatitis, or HPV.
Your midwife will help you prevent health problems and assist you in developing and maintaining healthy habits throughout life.
Women’s Gynecologic Care
Midwives offer sensitive, respectful and confidential gynecologic care of women from puberty through and beyond menopause. Midwives provide PAP testing, diagnosis and treatment for urinary tract infections, management of incontinence, HIV testing, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and other gynecologic services.
Midwives explain and prescribe birth control methods, including oral contraceptives, IUDs, diaphragms, and others. Midwives are advocates for patient choice. Your midwife can offer counseling on natural family planning, permanent sterilization methods, or emergency contraception. Midwives also provide fertility counseling and referral to other health care providers.
When calling to make an appointment at CCOG, please specify if you would like to meet one of our Midwives.
We look forward to providing our services!