About Midwifery Care

Homebirth serves women of low-risk pregnancies.  Approximately 95% of all pregnancies are considered low risk.    Midwifery care supports the emotional and spiritual needs of your family as well as the physical changes of your growing body.  If you have had a previous cesarean section, even two, you can still have a homebirth with a Licensed Midwife or a Certified Nurse Midwife.

There are two types of Midwives in the State of Florida.  Licensed Midwifery – the LM; and Certified Professional Midwifery – CNM.

Both midwifery licensures provide complete pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care.  Midwives spend much greater time with you during your pregnancy and provide much more education regarding your changing body, your growing baby, and your birth process.  Providing lab services, sonograms, genetic screenings and referrals for challenges you may experience when needing a consultation by a medical doctor or have complications.

The Licensed Midwifery credential requires a Three Year Program specific to midwifery care under Chapter 467 of the Florida Statutes.   These programs are approved by the Department of Education, Department of Health and is certified by the State of Florida..  Schools have to be located in the State of Florida and cannot be a “distance-learning” program.  There are a few schools in the Central Florida area – Gainesville has The Florida School of Traditional Midwifery @ (352)338-0766 and Orlando  has Common Sense School of Midwifery @ victoria@commonsensemidwifery.com for more information.  The LM degree limits care specific to pregnancy and does not allow for gynecology to non-pregnant women or birth control prescriptive options.  Also check the State of Florida website for other schools in Florida approved for LM licensure.  There are specific Risk Assessments this licensure is required to follow and should these risks exceed certain criteria a consult with a medical doctor may be required.  Certain circumstances may also mandate that the licensed midwife transfer care to a medical doctor for the remainder of the pregnancy and/or birth process.

The Certified Nurse Midwife is a nursing degree and is mandated by the Board of Nursing Chapter in the Florida Statutes.  It requires a 4 year nursing degree with an added one year specific to Midwifery (usually Frontier Midwifery School).  CNMs are required to work with an MD (medical doctor) due to the Board of Nursing requirements. The majority of CNMs work in a hospital settings and rarely provide home or birth center options.  There is one in the Central Florida Area – Kaleen Richards, CNM.  She owns and operates Tree of Life Birth & Gynecology, birth at a birthing center or at home;  at (407)878-2757.  CNMs can also provide gynecology for non-pregnancy women and birth control prescription.  Most CNMs though work under doctors and provide care and support during pregnancy and birth in a hospital setting.

Overall, midwifery care has more nurturing care and support for the normal physiology of pregnancy and birth.  Most midwives support birth starting on its own rather than induction – which has a much higher rate of ending in surgical intervention – and spend more time developing a more intimate relationship with you to acheive your goals.

 

The most recently published (January 2014) Planned Homebirth Study from the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) reports these key findings:

Over 93% of women had a normal physiologic birth

A cesarean rate of 5%

Only 2.5% of babies admitted to the NICU in the first six weeks of life

87% of women with previous cesareans had their babies vaginally

Of the 10.9% of women who transferred from home to hospital during labor, the majority moved for non-emergent reasons, like a slow, non-progressing labor, or maternal exhaustion

At six weeks postpartum, nearly all babies were breastfed

This study includes 17,000 births from 2004 to 2009.

While we can’t make a direct comparison to hospital outcomes (because they include women with different risk factors), we are happy to see such low intervention rates and high breastfeeding rates without increasing risk to mother and baby.  You can learn more about this very exciting and important study at www.mana.org   “Low risk women who plan home births have fewer interventions without increase in risk to mothers or babies”

                      Call (407)699-4207 to schedule a consultation regarding your pregnancy classes, childbirth education, or labor support regardless of where you choose to birth your baby!

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