The Truth About Midwives

Dec 13, 2017

Midwives_FB.pngAt Greenville OB/GYN we know that choosing a partner in your health can be difficult and that choosing a provider for gynecologic and obstetric care can seem even more overwhelming. Some women put off going to their OB/GYN because they don’t feel comfortable talking about such private and intimate topics and physical exams can seem intimidating. Because this is such a sensitive discussion, we make it easy for you to choose between a team of physicians and midwifes allowing you to carefully decide which style of care you are most comfortable with. While most women are well aware of the role a doctor can play in their health care, we find that there are still many misconceptions about the capabilities of our midwives and the services and type of medical care they provide so we’d like to take a minute to clear up a few myths.

Myth #1: A midwife is only for the mother seeking a drug-free, natural birth or home birth.

Truth: Our midwife deliveries take place in a hospital setting where they have access to emergency care should the need arise. They offer you a personalized and supportive birth experience throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Your midwife is your biggest advocate in the delivery room and will support your birth plan to help ensure you have the delivery you choose. Our midwives and our doctors work closely together and in case of an emergency, one of our physicians is on hand at all times. The biggest difference between our doctors and our midwives is the amount of time and level of attention you receive. Midwives are able to spend more time with you throughout your pregnancy, during labor and after birth. They oftentimes develop a deep, personal relationship with their patients and are with you throughout the majority of your labor. They even spend time with you after delivery to help ensure a proper latch for moms that are breastfeeding. A midwife will continue caring for you postpartum and can manage your obstetric and gynecologic care throughout your life.

Myth #2: Midwives are not trained or medically qualified to provide a high level of care.

Truth: All of our midwives have extensive training and are recognized as Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM). All CNMs have a nursing degree along with a Master’s degree in Nursing/Midwifery. Like other nurses, midwives are licensed nursing professionals, but have additional clinical training that help them to specialize in the care of pregnant women and their babies.

Myth #3: Midwives cannot provide pain management or epidurals during birth.

Truth: CNMs have prescribing authority and can order an epidural or IV pain meds for you if requested. Should you prefer a drug-free labor, midwives are specially trained to help you manage your pain using different focusing and breathing techniques and alternate positions. As a partner with you in your health care, your midwife will help explain your pain relief options and assist in developing a birth plan that best fits your personal needs and desires.

Myth #4: Midwives only focus on pregnancy and birth.

Truth: Midwives are able to manage your health care through all stages of life. They are able to provide a full spectrum of gynecological care, including annual exams, birth control, managing menopause and family planning. Choosing a midwife before becoming pregnant gives you the opportunity to begin building a relationship with a trusted provider that can cares for you before, during and long after your pregnancy. If parenthood is not what you desire, your midwife can also help you find the best form of birth control to help you in your own life plan.

Myth #5: Midwives are not covered by insurance companies.

Truth: All insurance carriers cover midwifery care the same as a physician.

Myth #6: If you a woman is considered high-risk or has a chronic health condition, she cannot be seen by midwives.

Truth: If you have a high-risk pregnancy, we ask that you see our doctors as well. This does not mean that you may not be seen by our midwives, but it is important for our doctors to follow your progress and work with the midwives to continue your care. In some cases, this might shift your midwife’s role a bit, but she can still work closely with you for emotional support and to advocate for the birth plan and experience that you desire.

At Greenville OB/GYN we have excellent options in both midwife care and physician based care. Know that you will receive support and compassion from all of our providers and whatever you choose, we will be there to support and care for you throughout all stages of your life. To learn more about our midwives, please visit or to schedule an appointment, please click HERE. 


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