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Midwife Myths: The Truth About Midwives

The department of OB/GYN at Reliant Medical Group is growing! We recently welcomed two new Certified Nurse Midwives to our practice. This expansion has allowed us to become the only service in central Massachusetts offering midwifery care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that women have the option to be cared for by midwives consistently throughout the prenatal period, labor and birth, and postpartum period.

Many people do not understand the role of a midwife, or do not know what a midwife is. The literal meaning of the word midwife is “with woman.” We view pregnancy, labor, and birth as a normal process – not a medical condition. The following are a few of the most common myths surrounding midwifery.

Myth #1 – Midwives only attend births at home.

Truth – The majority of midwives are Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and attend births in a hospital or birth center setting. A CNM is an advanced practice nurse, or a registered nurse with a Master’s Degree who has specialized training in obstetrics and gynecology and has passed the American Midwifery Certification Board exam.

Reliant Medical Group Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in accordance with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists(ACOG) Committee Opinion, does not support planned home birth.  We believe that hospitals and accredited birth centers are the safest settings for birth.  We do, however, believe that every woman has the right to make a medically informed decision regarding where to deliver her baby.

Myth #2 – If I choose a midwife to care for me during pregnancy, I cannot have an epidural when I’m in labor.

Truth – CNMs have full prescriptive authority, including the ability to order an epidural or other pain medications during labor if women desire. Our goal is for women and families to achieve the personal birth experience they envision, and we support medicated and un-medicated births.

Myth #3 – Midwives only deliver babies.

Truth – CNMs are certified to provide full-scope care to women from their teens through menopause. This includes routine gynecological annual exams, contraceptive counseling, and obstetric care. We have a close relationship with our outstanding group of supervising physicians, and consult with them as needed.

Please call our office at (508) 368-3110 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!

By Lynne Masterson, CNM

Midwife Myths: The Truth About Midwives

About Lynne Masterson, CNM -Chief of Certified Nurse Midwives

A graduate of Saint Joseph’s College and Frontier Nursing University, Lynne had ten years of experience as a labor and delivery nurse before becoming a midwife. “I worked with midwives in a professional environment as a nurse and I also delivered my daughter with a midwife,” she explains. “After having such wonderful experiences with the midwives, I knew that one day I wanted to offer women the same compassionate care that I had...

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3 Responses

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  1. Posted by Xy

    First time mom, I opted for midwives towards the end of my pregnancy not really knowing much having done some research.
    It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Now with my second, midwives are my go to. As for St Vincent Midwives? They’re one in a million. I couldn’t ask for a better team to care for baby and I. God bless them all.

    September 7, 2020 9:13 pm Reply
  2. Posted by Betsey C

    Thank you for this article. I just learned that I am pregnant with my third child (10 years after my second!). When I was asked if I would prefer a midwife or MD, I immediately chose MD. After reading this I may reconsider.

    July 15, 2015 3:57 pm Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Betsey, it’s definitely good to know more about all of the options available to you! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you choose a midwife or an MD.

      July 15, 2015 4:04 pm Reply

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