Everything you've always wanted to know about pregnancy, labor & delivery  and the female reproductive system (...but were too afraid to ask your doctor). 

The Midwife Answers

What is a Midwife?


Our Midwife is a health care professional who has been educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery; providing care for healthy women throughout their childbearing experiences, as well as well woman gynecologic services.
A Midwife provides care during pregnancy, labor and birth, and the postpartum period, including the immediate care of the newborn. A Midwife also provides the entire spectrum of gynecologic care to women, from annual pap smears and breast exams, to family planning counseling, preconception care, and menopause management.




What is the philosophy of Midwives?


Midwives believe that every individual has a right to safe, satisfying health care with respect for human dignity and cultural variations. They support each person’s right to self-determination, to complete information, and to active participation in all aspects of their care. Midwives believe in women and their ability to give birth. Midwives believe the normal process of pregnancy and birth can be enhanced through education, health care, and supportive intervention. They do not view their clients as sick patients needing high-tech intervention, but as partners who actively participate in their health care. Indeed, the term midwife is derived from Old English and literally means “with woman.” The practice of midwifery encourages continuity of care; emphasizes safe, competent clinical management; advocates non-intervention in normal processes; and promotes health education for women throughout the childbearing cycle. This practice extends to include gynecological care of women throughout the life cycle.




What type of education and experience does the midwife at The Midwives & Associates have?


The Midwife at The Midwives & Associates has completed graduate-level midwifery education, and delivers comprehensive midwifery care, including prenatal, birth, and postpartum care, homoeopathic gynecologic examinations, and family planning services. Collectively, the midwives have attended thousands of births.




Why should I seek care from a Midwife?


The Midwives & Associates offer safe, satisfying health care with a personalized touch. Midwives generally spend more time with clients during visits, and put more emphasis on counseling and education, establishing trust, and providing emotional support and empowerment to women. The Midwives & Associates routinely offer extended time for your prenatal and gynecological visits. Women who are under the care of a Midwife are less likely to have a cesarean section or an episiotomy and are more likely to experience a vaginal birth after a previous c-section. According to Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, Midwives have a cesarean section rate of 11.6 percent and a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean section rate of 68.9 percent. During the same period, the national rates were 23.3 and 24.9 percent respectively (1,2). A new study from the National Center for Health Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows lower morbidity and mortality rates for infants delivered by certified midwives. Click here for more information. More and more women are seeking midwifery care. The number of births attended by midwives in the U.S. has increased rapidly in recent years from 0.9% in 1975 to 4.4% in 1991 to 5.5% in 1994 to 8.5% in 1997 (2).




Why would I need to see a physician during my prenatal, birth or postpartum experience?


Midwives care for essentially healthy women and newborns and are experts in detecting deviations from normal prenatal, birth, and postpartum processes. While rare, some women develop medical complications related to pregnancy or childbirth that require the attention of other medical professionals. Should any such circumstances develop, The Midwives & Associates will collaborate with the appropriate medical experts to ensure that you receive the medical attention you require. If intervention extends beyond the scope of midwifery practice, such as cesarean surgery, your midwife will remain by your side to provide support and to answer any questions.




Can I continue to see The Midwives & Associates after my childbearing years?


Definitely! The Midwives & Associates pride themselves on their approach to meet the specific needs of women in the post-menopausal years. Women receive individualized education and counseling to make informed decisions regarding their health care options during menopause and beyond. Health care practices such as hormone replacement therapy, alternatives to hormone replacement therapy, mammography, bone density screening, and cholesterol screening are discussed and selected based on individual preference and need.




What links do you recommend for mothers?


Dr. Karounos

North American Registery of Midwives

Midwifery Today

Coalition for Improving Maternity Service

Holistic Mom’s Network

International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc

Lamaze

March of Dimes

Parents Place.com

Postpartum Stress Center

Sidelines – Support for High-Risk Pregnancy

La Leche League




When is it important to immediately contact my midwife?


DANGER SIGNS DURING PREGNANCY: 1. Bleeding from the vagina.
2. Nausea or vomiting that does not stop.
3. A severe headache not relieved with Tylenol or rest.
4. Sudden swelling of the face, hands, feet or ankles that goes along with sudden weight gain.
5. Blurred vision or spots before your eyes.
6. Marked decrease in the amount of urine passed.
7. Pain or burning while passing urine.
8. Fever of 100.4 or higher.
9. Gush or leaking fluid from the vagina prior to your due date.
*Note the color- is it clear, brown, green or blood tinged?
10. Unusual or strong pain in any part of your body.
11. Discharge from the vagina that causes itching or soreness.
12. Decrease in the activity of the baby, after lying down in a quiet place with your hand on your abdomen and drinking some juice. (Applies only after 28 weeks of pregnancy)




What medicines are OK to take during pregnancy?


*These medications are safe to take curing pregnancy Indigestion
-Papaya tablets
-Ginger capsules [calcium based] -Mylanta
-Maalox tablets or liquids
-Zantac
-Tagamet
-Tums
*Try small, frequent meals. Less in stomach at bedtime.

Nausea or “Morning Sickness”
-Vitamin B6
-Ginger capsules
-Peppermint
-Flat Ginger Ale
-Coke syrup
-Emetrol
*Eat cracker/toast before getting out of bed.

Constipation
-Metamucil
-Milk of Magnesia
-Colace
-Flaxseed oil
*Increase roughage [i.e. bran, vegetables, fruit]. Increase fluid intake.

Diarrhea
-Pepto Bismol
-Imodium
-Kaopectate

Hemorrhoids
-Warm tub baths
-Witch Hazel Tucks
-Preparation-H
-Anusol
-Arnica
*Avoid straining. Avoid prolong standing

Headaches
-Tylenol
-Ice Pack
*Get adequate sleep. Take frequent breaks

Cold or “Flu” Cough
-Pediatric Dimetapp
-Robitussin Plain
*Rest. Increase fluids.

Hayfever/Allergies
-Benadryl
-Claritin
-Zyrtec
-Allegra

Stuffy Nose
-Ocean Nasal Spray
-Peppermint Oil

Insomnia
-Tylenol PM-2 tablets
-Valerian Root




What should your temperature be after delivery?


Temperature: Take your temperature using an oral glass or digital thermometer if you feel as though you may have a fever. Your range of normal is 96-99 degrees. If your temperature is greater than 100.4 call the midwives. Always recheck an abnormal result.




What should your pulse be after delivery?


Always take your pulse after resting. The normal range is 60-100 beats per minute. If greater than 100 beats, lie down and rest for 20 minutes. Drink a glass of water. If you are experiencing pain from cramps, perineum or muscle aches, take medication and recheck. If your pulse remains over 100 beats per minute, call the midwives.




What should I know about breastfeeding after delivery?


Wearing a bra is optional. If you choose to wear one, make sure it is supportive and does not have under wires. Nipple soreness is expected for the first 3-7 days, but severe pain, cracking and bleeding is not normal. If you experience these symptoms or have other breastfeeding difficulties, call the office of the midwives to speak with our lactation specialist. Express breast milk onto the nipple after each feeding and air dry to relieve soreness and help with healing. Do not allow the nipples to remain damp with pads or a bra. Avoid soap on the nipples. Engorgement usually does not occur if you nurse often enough, long enough and do not miss feedings.




I'm not breastfeeding, how can I avoid engorgement?


Wear a snug bra to help prevent engorgement. Ice, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) will help ease the discomfort of your milk coming in. Do not express out any milk. This will only help to continue milk production. For engorgement, wrap your breast with cold, raw green cabbage leaves. After the leaves have become wet and limp, remove and reapply fresh leaves. Repeat as often as necessary.





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