The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- minimizing technological interventions and;
- identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention
The application of this model has been proven to reduce to incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.
The Midwives Model of Care definition above is Copyright © 1996-2001, Midwifery Task Force, All Rights Reserved.
Throughout most of the world, and most of history, women have labored and birthed with midwives. It is only in the last few decades that it has become common in the U.S. to birth in a hospital setting with a doctor. Being pregnant and giving birth are normal life processes for which a woman’s body is well-designed. Midwifery care has been proven to be a safe and nurturing alternative to physician-attended hospital birth.
The Midwives Model of Care™ is a fundamentally different approach to pregnancy and childbirth. Midwifery care is uniquely nurturing, hands-on care before, during, and after birth. Midwives are health care professionals specializing in pregnancy and childbirth who develop a trusting relationship with their clients which results in confident, supported labor and birth.
While there are different types of midwives practicing in various settings, all midwives are trained to provide comprehensive prenatal care and education, guide labor and birth, address complications, and care for newborns.
A midwife-attended birth gives a woman a measure of control generally unavailable with a physician—the freedom to move, eat, bathe, or whatever else might help her labor and birth more confidently. The role of a midwife is to monitor labor, guiding and supporting the birthing woman safely through the birth process. For many women, care with a midwife allows them to birth their way, safely and naturally, supported by the people they love. Many studies show that midwifery care through labor and delivery lowers complication rates and reduces the likelihood of unnecessary cesarean section.
Healthier Outcomes, Healthier Communities
The safety and benefits of midwifery care have been proven again and again in countries across the world. World Health Organization statistics show that births attended by midwives have lower infection rates, lower C-section rates, fewer complications and healthier outcomes—thus, lower overall medical costs—than physician-attended hospital births. In addition, there is no difference in infant mortality between midwife-attended and physician-attended births for low-risk women. Countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand which have the best birth outcome statistics in the world use midwives as their main maternity care providers.