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What you Need to Know Before Choosing a Nurse-Midwife or an OB/GYN

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What you need to know before choosing a nurse-midwife or an ob/gyn

Making the Decision

So many questions and concerns run through the minds of individuals once they realize that they are pregnant. Where will the delivery take place? Who will assist in the delivery? What delivery method will be used?

What kind of health experts do you want to be present during delivery? Will the birth be done naturally or will epidurals be administered? These are all very necessary and popular questions among pregnant women.

Obstetricians and gynecologists (OBGYNs) are the regular health practitioners entrusted to the care of pregnant women, but today a certified nurse midwife in Arlington is becoming a popular choice.

A recent survey conducted in Arlington, VA, shows that OBGYNs performed about 74% of deliveries, while 26% were performed by certified nurse-midwives (CNM). It is important for expectant mothers to plan ahead of the delivery on the choice of health expert they want to present as the primary caregiver. There are several significant differences between the roles performed by a nurse-midwife and an OBGYN that need to be evaluated prior to making a choice.

The education qualification of midwives and OBGYNs

The educational training and qualification of nurse-midwives and OBGYNs are different. For one to qualify as an OBGYN, they have to complete four academic years in medical school followed by another four years as residents.

The certified nurse-midwives medical training is different as one first has to successfully qualify as a nurse then further their studies in the midwifery program. In most cases, the CNMs have prior experience handling expectant mothers and infants before joining the midwifery graduate program.

After successfully completing the national certification exam, one is qualified to work as a nurse-midwife. Both the OBGYNs and CNMs are well qualified and trained to handle the baby delivery process. However, there are some medical services and procedures that can be performed by OBGYNs that nurse-midwives cannot.

The services provided by CNMs and OBGYNs

Both of these health practitioners provide their patients with contraception or family planning services, prenatal care, delivery, and postpartum medical care. They also provide gynecology related services such as diagnosis and treatment of STIs. OBGYNs can competently handle both high and low-risk pregnancies while CNMs usually handle low-risk pregnancies.

It is important to visit a CNM or OBGYN during the early stages of pregnancy to determine if you are at high risk or low risk. Factors such as your personal medical history, genetic history and physical examination help in determining your type of pregnancy.

What to expect if you choose a midwife

The number of women opting for nurse-midwives over OBGYNs is increasing due to the fact that they provide emotional support to expectant mothers before delivery, during delivery and postpartum. Nurse-midwives take time to know the expectant mother, their families, and what they prefer throughout the pregnancy.

They, therefore, take time in planning for the delivery depending on the preference of the expectant mother before the due date arrives. Unlike the common misconception that midwives are sticklers for a natural birth, they at times prescribe epidurals or pain medications where necessary.

If there are any complications that occur during the delivery process nurse-midwives are trained to recognize it and immediately contact an OBGYN to assist quickly.