Choosing your maternity care provider is a personal decision that takes a great deal of thought. In addition to considering their education and expertise, it is essential to ask about a providers approach to care and how they will work with you to make decisions. These factors can have a major impact on the quality of your care.
There are two approaches to maternity care, the midwifery model of care, and the medical model of care. Naturally, the midwifery model describes the practice of most midwives, and the medical model describes the practice of most doctors. However, many caregivers combine elements of both. It is possible, but less common, to find doctors whose practice most closely resembles the midwifery model of care and midwives whose practice most closely resembles the medical model.
Thinking about these different views can help you to understand your own values and ideas about pregnancy and birth, and can help you select a caregiver who is compatible with your needs. Many women have a clear preference for one or the other of these models.
Our midwifery services are recommended for women who desire a natural approach to pregnancy and birth. We believe that womens bodies are finely tuned to do the work of growing and birthing healthy babies. We believe our role in your care is partner, counselor and facilitator, rather than expert in charge. We expect women to take active roles in this partnership. This includes a commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances. It also means a desire for learning and exploration into the journey of birth and parenting.
Midwifery Model of Care
Medical Model of Care
Because midwifery care focuses on health and wellness and prevention of problems, there are some situations where midwifery care is not in the best interests of the woman or her developing baby. In these instances, women should be under the care of a physician. These conditions include the following:
If any of the above conditions apply to you, we encourage you to find a primary care OB/GYN as soon as you know you are pregnant. For help finding a physician right for you, visit GHS Physician Finder or call 1-844-GHS-DOCS.