According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2000, 8 percent of all United States births were delivered by certified nurse midwifes compared with 6 percent in 1995.
And a study by National Center for Health Statistics shows that the risk of experiencing an infant death was 19 percent lower for births attended by certified nurse midwives than for births attended by physicians.
Midwives (MW) are trained to give the necessary support and care to the mother during the pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum period and to provide care for the newborn.
All insurance plans in New York State are required by law to pay for CM services (no distinctions are made between CNM and CM). CMs have prescription privileges and can order all the standard OB tests.
Martha Roth is a certified nurse midwife in Nyack who prefers the term midwife. “The difference between OB care and midwife care is the Model of Care. The Midwifery Model of Care is much more centered on the family unit,” says Roth, adding that care is very individualized and guided by the needs of the woman and her family. For more information on this Model of Care, visit www.cfmidwifery.org.
Being self-employed, Roth says she has the luxury of time, and her prenatal visits average 45 minutes to an hour.
Roth explains that she only assists with home births and does not carry medications with her. She uses comfort measures such as water, massage, walking, positioning and good emotional support. “The main thing you need when giving birth is time – let the woman take as long as she needs.”
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