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Midwife


Midwife



Midwifery  is a health care profession in which providers offer care to  childbearing women during pregnancy, labour and birth, and during the postpartum period. They also care for the newborn and assist the mother  with breastfeeding.


A practitioner of midwifery  is known as a midwife, a term used in reference  to both women and men, although the majority of midwives are female.[1] In addition to providing care to women during pregnancy and birth, many  midwives also provide primary care to women, well-woman care related to reproductive health, annual gynecological exams, family planning, and menopausal care.


In the term midwife, the  form -wife is pronounced as expected, but midwifery normally sounds  like mid-wiff-ry or mid-wiff-ery.[2]


Midwives are autonomous  practitioners who are specialists in low-risk pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. They generally strive to help women to have a healthy  pregnancy and natural birth  experience. Midwives are trained to recognize and deal with deviations from the  normal. Obstetricians, in contrast, are specialists in illness related to childbearing and in surgery.[3] The two professions can be  complementary, but often are at odds because obstetricians are taught  to "actively manage" labor, while midwives are taught not to intervene  unless necessary.[4]


Midwives  refer women to general practitioners or obstetricians when a pregnant  woman requires care beyond the midwives' area of expertise. In many  jurisdictions, these professions work together to provide care to  childbearing women. In others, only the midwife is available to provide  care. Midwives are trained to handle certain more difficult deliveries, including breech births, twin births and births where the baby is in a posterior position, using non-invasive techniques.


Not only do midwives give  the option for a natural birth, they offer lower maternity care cost, reduced mortality and morbidity related to cesarean and other  interventions, lower intervention rates, and fewer recovery complications.






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