Midwifery Model of Care

Why would a woman choose a midwife for her care in pregnancy?

  • Midwifery practice views pregnancy as a critical, vulnerable, but normal process in the life of a woman.

  • The midwifery model of care makes the woman and her life the central focus of prenatal care and her birth.

  • The midwife is interested in the woman's expectations and experience of her pregnancy - her perceptions and beliefs; her knowledge and opinions; her questions and worries; her satisfactions and dissatisfactions; her comforts and discomforts; her desires, decisions, and actions; and the effect of all these on her pregnancy, fetus, labor, birth, breastfeeding, postpartum recovery, and development as a mother.

  • The midwifery model establishes the pregnant woman as an active partner in her own care and recognizes her as the primary actor and decision-maker.

  • Midwives try to protect, support, and avoid interfering with the normal processes; thus they try to avoid unnecessary use of obstetric interventions.

  • Many midwives avoid saying that they deliver babies; rather they attend the laboring woman and catch the baby, recognizing that the woman herself, through her labor, delivers her own child into the world.

  • Pregnancy results in a mother as well as a baby. It is important that the woman's transition into motherhood is a positive experience, that she and all members of her family make emotionally healthy adjustments to each pregnancy and birth.

Excerpts from article by: Judith P. Rooks CNM, FACNM MPH, MS, Journal of Midwifery and Womens Health, July 1999 (Vol. 44, Issue 4, Pages 370-374).