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Consider Incorporating Midwifery Into the Birth Plan

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There are so many things to consider when you find out you are pregnant. One of these is whether to use the services of a midwife.

A certified nurse midwife offers education, support and advocacy for your birth plan. Midwives view birth as a healthy, normal process with intervention only if needed. Even for a high‑risk pregnancy that requires a doctor’s care or the wish for a pain‑blocking epidural as soon as possible, you can still work with a midwife to create a birth plan to have the labor experience you want.

Birth plans are reviewed in the clinic before labor begins to discuss what is most important to you and your family. You might discuss requests not offered at your birthing location or practices that might not be safe for your unique situation. This process is done in a caring, positive environment so you will feel comfortable making choices based on evidence‑based suggestions.

Midwives encourage laboring moms to eat, drink, walk, dance, move, laugh, cry, shower and rest, as they wish. When it is time to push, they can use any position that feels best. Delayed cord clamping and skin‑to‑skin contact are routine. Postpartum requests will also be incorporated.

“When my patients are in labor, my goal is to offer as much, or as little, labor support as is wanted,” said Nadia Graves, CNM, with Samaritan Lebanon Health Center. “Sometimes birth plans change, and I want to make sure patients know why the changes are suggested. They should feel in control, empowered and respected during the birthing process.”

For more information about midwifery, or to find a provider, visit samhealth.org/Midwifery.