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What is a Midwife Center?

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  • Written By: Michelle Haskins
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 04 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A midwife center is a healthcare facility where women can go through a natural labor and delivery. While this is the most popular service offered, other services at a midwife center may include postpartum care, family planning, and well gynecology visits. It is usually staffed by certified nurse-midwives (CNM), who are registered nurses (RNs) who have obtained additional education through an accredited midwife program. The services available at a particular midwife center are based upon the licensed credentials of the CNMs that are staffed and the health regulations for that area.

The methods for labor and delivery used at a midwife center are often less intrusive and more natural than those offered by a traditional obstetrician. The CNMs are trained to deal with the specific pregnancy and delivery complications that may arise. These situations may be resolved independently by the midwife center or in conjunction with an obstetrician.

The atmosphere in a midwife center is usually relaxed to help with a more calm birthing experience. Natural pain relief techniques are taught, although generally pain medication, such as epidurals, is available. Studies have shown that women who use a midwife center have a lower rate for Caesarian sections when compared to the traditional hospital birth. Recovery complications are also lower than a traditional hospital. A hospital birth may be recommended if the pregnancy is considered high risk and access to more medical resources is needed.

Postpartum care for the mother to ensure that her recovery is progressing properly is usually available at a midwife center. Women who are interested in breastfeeding can learn about different techniques and obtain valuable nutrition information. Family planning care is another aspect of postpartum care that is often available, including access to birth control pills and information about natural birth control.

Midwife centers may also offer non-pregnancy related services such as gynecological care. These services can range from yearly breast exams and gynecological exams to testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Some offer treatment of urinary tract infections and vaginal infections as well.

A CNM is also trained to handle issues related to menopause, such as hormone replacement therapy. Osteoporosis treatment may also be available at a midwife center. Advanced services may include an endometrial biopsy and colonoscopy. Since each midwife center is different, the services offered can vary greatly. To find out the exact type of care that is available, a patient should contact the center directly.

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