Explaining midwives to your friends and family
By Lizzi Brink, CNM, ARNP
“You’re not going to a doctor for your pregnancy?”
“A midwife! Why?”
Sometimes the first conversation I have with a new patient about her care begins with a discussion about her family or friends; they either don’t know much about midwifery care, or wonder why she chose me instead of a doctor.
Here are a few tips for talking to friends and family about your choice of a midwife:
1. Ask a question. When someone asks you why you chose a midwife, ask them a simple question: Why not? This works well for friends — and allows you to gently (and maybe with a bit of humor!) answer your own question.
I frequently tell patients that midwives are highly trained in caring for women throughout their pregnancies and births as well as in routine women’s gynecologic care. It’s all we do. And we’re experts in it. Years of research support the safety and quality of our care, and patient satisfaction with the care we provide speaks for itself.
2. Talk about what you value — and how midwives deliver it. Many patients seek me out because they want a more personalized care experience and a relationship that’s holistically focused. While midwives receive years of specialized clinical training (similar to physicians) our approach tends to be more relational.
We want to get to know you, your family situation, your work and life stressors, and other parts of your life that impact your health and your pregnancy. Relationships take time, so most midwives spend more time with patients — and our schedules are set up to provide the time we need.
Midwives are also trained to care for women throughout all stages of their lives. You can see a midwife for routine gynecological care, problem periods, menopause care or an annual exam.
3. The midwifery experience — best of all worlds. A patient recently shared that her mom was concerned about her choice of a midwife. Her baby would be the first grandchild in the family and my patient’s mom was worried that by selecting a midwife she was going to have to have a home birth and wouldn’t be provided with standard care.
Choosing a MultiCare midwife gives you the best of all worlds: a highly-trained advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP), personalized and attentive care and the opportunity to have your birth in the hospital setting. Most women will only need to see a midwife throughout their pregnancy and birth experience, but we work closely with our physician colleagues and value the support they provide.
Parents, friends, siblings, coworkers … I find they ask questions about your choice of a midwife because they care. Having a conversation and providing them with information usually alleviates their fears and helps them better understand and support you.