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Team Midwife Mythbusters

Midwives tell us that the biggest barriers they face come in the form of misconceptions that the US public holds. We challenge you to address one of the following misconceptions with your legislator, friends, family, or anyone else!

1. Myth: Midwives only manage home births

Mythbuster: Less than 2% of midwife-attended births happen at home, and a similar percentage occurs at birth centers. More than 96% of midwife-attended births are at hospitals. Additionally, over 50% of certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives work in physician practices, hospitals, or medical centers.

2. Myth: Midwives just deliver babies.

Mythbuster: Midwifery care encompasses a full range of primary health services for women from adolescence to beyond menopause. While midwives are well-known for attending births, over 50% of CNMs/CMs identify reproductive care and over 30% identify primary care as main responsibilities in their full-time positions. This care includes annual exams, writing prescriptions, basic nutrition counseling, parenting education, patient education, and reproductive health visits.

Myth: You canít have an epidural with a midwife.

Mythbuster: Midwives encourage their patients to give birth without reliance on unnecessary, and often costly, interventions and technologies. That being said, midwives also promote women experiencing birth on their terms. If a woman wants an epidural, most midwives in hospital settings can help provide one.

4. Myth: Midwives are not as safe to work with as physicians.

Mythbuster: Certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives caring for low-risk women improve the infant mortality rate in both hospitals and birth centers when compared to physicians caring for women of equivalent risk classification. Additionally, a recent systematic review of studies comparing midwifery care to physician care indicate that women cared for by CNMs have a significantly higher chance for a normal vaginal birth, fewer interventions, and successful initiation of breastfeeding.



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