Is a Midwife Right for You? Know the Facts to Make the Best Choice

October 2, 2017   Pregnancy & Postpartum

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We’d like to shed some light on one of our favorite subjects: midwives. Every woman’s desired birth experience is different, and similarly, there are different types of caregivers who can suit different wants and needs. Depending on your preferred birth plan, a midwife can be a good choice for a number of reasons.

Did you know midwives have been practicing in the United States since the 1920s?

Garrison is proud to have offered the first certified nurse-midwife (CNM) service in NH. The number of midwives nationwide continues to increase each year. According to, as of 2014, midwives participated in more than 332,100 births in the United States

A midwife's purpose

A CNM is a healthcare professional who has graduated from a nurse-midwifery education program and has passed a national certification examination to receive the accreditation.

Choosing a caregiver is an important and very personal decision. Women often decide to use a midwife for their primary care option for a plethora of reasons, but for one special reason in particular: supportive childbirth. Midwives believe in facilitating an optimal childbirth experience for mothers-to-be.  Above all, midwives work to ensure the safety and health of the mother and her child.

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The job of a midwife

Midwives offer support and keep a watchful eye on mothers-to-be during the labor and delivery process, as well as prenatally and postpartum. Midwives can also provide the following care:

  • Family growth planning
  • Gynecological examinations
  • Prenatal care
  • One-on-one care to discuss the physical and emotional changes a woman endures when pregnant

Flexibility in birth options

As a mother-to-be, you are able to work with your obstetric provider to create a customized birthing plan.

The American College of Nurse-Midwives explains the benefits of receiving midwifery care include:

  • Decreased risk of needing a Cesarean section
  • Reduced rates of labor induction and augmentation
  • Reduced use of regional anesthesia
  • Decreased infant mortality rates
  • Decreased risk of preterm birth
  • Decreased third and fourth degree perineal tears
  • Lower costs for both clients and insurers
  • Increased chances of having a positive start to breastfeeding
Nina Harris, CNM, BSN, RN

As a midwife, I am honored to serve as a guide, mentor, educator and support for women and their families through some of their most exciting and intense experiences. 

— Nina Harris, Nurse-Midwife

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