Midwives view pregnancy and birth as a natural process. They are a very common presence at European births. Most midwife-accompanied births occur in hospitals or hospital birthing centres. Generally, a midwife follows you through the pregnancy, is with you throughout the birth, and follows you and the baby for a few weeks after. Rarely will one get this amount of personal care with an obstetrician or family doctor. Midwives support you in whatever kind of birth you wish to have (hospital, birthing centre, home), they encourage you to make informed decisions about your prenatal (antenatal) care, birth, and care of the baby. They have a gentle, warm and humane approach, and use natural methods and remedies. They are trained to recognize any health issues or complications that are beyond their area of expertise. If such a case occurs, the care is then taken over by a doctor. (The arrangement varies depending on local health-care regulations.)
Clinical studies show that a midwife-assisted birth has better chances of having a shorter labour, less medical interventions, less need for pain medications and women tend to have a better feeling about the birth experience.,  A newborn in a supported birth has lower chances of having foetal distress and needing medical intervention, and breastfeeding has a higher rate of success.
A home birth with a midwife can be a wonderful way to welcome a baby into life, if you are comfortable with the idea and have a low-risk pregnancy. At home, you are free to create the surroundings you wish, you have complete privacy and, after the birth, you and your baby are in a place much more conducive to rest. You are much less likely to be rushed during labour or brought unnecessarily into a medical situation, and your baby can be received in a much gentler environment. Studies also shows that planned homebirths are at least as safe as hospital births.,,, But the most important thing is the mother's confidence, that she trust that what she needs will be available, and that she feel comfortable and supported by those around her.
Today, more and more midwife-run birth centres are being created, both in hospitals and free standing. If the idea of a home birth worries you, or if your home seems too far from emergency help, or if it simply isn't possible, but you still would like to have a quieter, more home-like setting, a birth centre can be a good alternative to a hospital. They all vary in setup and in how they are run, so it's worth going for a visit before choosing one.
Midwife Discreetly Helps to Deliver a Child While a Friend Supports the Mother
Aztec Midwife Administering Herbs to a Woman after Childbirth from an Account of Aztec Crafts
To find a local midwife see Birthing Naturally
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