National Midwifery Week, created by American College of Nurse-Midwives, is October 3-9. This week celebrates midwives and midwife-led care. Visit www.midwife.org to learn more. We, here at NayaCare, want to recognize our community midwives and their support in helping redefine postpartum care. We would especially like to recognize The Birth Center of Boulder in our continued partnership.
But what exactly is a Midwife and how does NayaCare’s model fit with midwifery care?
What is a Midwife?
A midwife is a health professional who provides care for mothers and newborns around childbirth. Though usually associated with pregnancy and childbirth, midwives are also trained for women’s care throughout their lifespan.
According to the definition of the International Confederation of Midwives, which has also been adopted by the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics:
“A midwife is a person who has successfully completed a midwifery education programme that is recognised in the country where it is located and that is based on the ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice and the framework of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education; who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered or legally licensed to practice midwifery and use the title midwife; and who demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery.”
Historically, the word derives from Old English mid, “with,” and wif, “woman,” and thus originally meant “with-woman,”. The word refers to midwives regardless of gender. Male midwives were often referred to as accoucheurs.
In the United States, the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs). Midwives can practice in hospitals, maternity units, birth centers, private practices, and communities. However, midwifery scope of practice is different from state to state due to individual state laws. Depending on the midwife or practice setting, insurance to self pay are the payment models.
How does NayaCare’s model fit with midwife led care?
In the state of Colorado, a certified, credential midwife has independent practice and can see both moms and babies up to 6 weeks. Standard newborn medical care requires 3 visits (2-3 day, 2 weeks, 1 month) during those 6 weeks. Working with our midwives, as the pediatrician component, we conduct our visits within 24-48 hours after the first midwife appointment, 3 weeks, and then 5 weeks. We, midwives and NayaCare, both can conduct the congenital heart disease screening, bilirubin levels, and state newborn screens. Hearing screens are conducted by the midwives. We evaluate oral anatomy, address any tongue/lip tie issues, and are able to handle anterior tongue ties.
This system allows for several things to happen. First, moms are continually supported during the 4th trimester. Second, newborns have a designated pediatrician receiving pediatric care in the first week post birth. Issues that have risen include jaundice, heart murmurs, anterior tongue ties, and congenital skin lesions. Third, in the mutual goal of supporting the dyad, the midwives and NayaCare, are in constant dialogue to elevate the 4th trimester for each mom-newborn-family.
We are thankful for the opportunity to work with our community midwives. Our care model and midwifery are complementary. Revolutionizing postpartum medical care is a symphony of care models coming together with the goal of valuing the 4th trimester.
Happy National Midwifery Week!