Using a Midwife: 5 Things to Know

Thank you to our partners at Essentia Health for writing and sponsoring this article, and providing their expertise on this helpful topic.

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From the moment a woman discovers she is pregnant, she’s faced with so many new decisions. And one of the most important decisions is choosing who will care for her during pregnancy and labor.

In recent years, an increasing number of women have chosen to deliver their babies with the assistance of a midwife to achieve a more personal birthing experience.

Essentia Health is proud to have several certified nurse-midwives on staff for women who prefer to go this route. Here are five things to know if you’re considering seeking care from a midwife:

5 Things to Know about Midwives

1. Midwives can do more than deliver babies.

Our certified nurse-midwives are advanced practitioners with education and training in
caring for women throughout their lives, from the teenage years to menopause and
beyond. These specialists can provide:

  • Primary care
  • Reproductive health care, including family planning and gynecologic exams
  • Pregnancy and birth care
  • Postpartum and newborn care

2. Midwives provide attentive care during pregnancy and labor.

At Essentia, certified nurse-midwives strive to be your partner in care. During your
pregnancy, a midwife will work with you to come up with a birth plan to meet your
mental, physical, and emotional needs. You can also expect your midwife to be by your
side throughout the entire labor and delivery.

3. Midwives help ease labor pain the way you want.

A certified nurse-midwife can be counted on to help you manage labor pain the way you
want. They will support your choice to have a medicated labor and delivery, including an
epidural. However, if you choose a non-medicated delivery, they will help you cope with
labor pain using tools such as:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Birthing balls
  • Breathing techniques
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Hydrotherapy in a whirlpool tub
  • Massage
  • Movement and positioning
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery

4. Midwives provide postpartum support.

One major benefit of delivering with a midwife is the extra care that you receive after
giving birth. The postpartum period can be an especially challenging time for new
mothers, so our certified nurse-midwives strive to go above and beyond by offering
breastfeeding support, answering questions about newborn care, and assisting with
emotional and physical recovery.

5. Physician backup is available.

An overwhelming majority of midwife deliveries are in the hospital. Should the pregnancy
become high-risk, or you suddenly need a C-section, our certified nurse-midwives will work with an obstetrician to give you the care that’s right for you and your baby.

Essentia certified nurse-midwife, Denise Powell.

Above all, Essentia’s certified nurse-midwives are committed to providing the support and
expertise necessary to facilitate a healthy pregnancy, a safe and enjoyable birthing experience and the best possible first chapter for you and your baby. For them, it is not just a job, but a labor of love.

“It’s an honor to be invited into the most intimate time in a family’s life,” said Essentia certified nurse-midwife Denise Powell. “For me, midwifery is a calling.”

If you are pregnant and want to learn more about delivering with one of Essentia’s certified
nurse-midwives, please call (701) 364-8900 or visit EssentiaHealth.org/Services/Midwifery.
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