Popular midwifery specialisms

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midwifery

Midwifery has grown in popularity in the last few decades. More women are choosing midwives not only to help deliver their baby but also to be their primary care doctor.

Although individual practices may vary, many midwives care for women in all stages of their life, not just during pregnancy. The field of midwifery also continues to grow. For example, some midwives are on staff at medical centers and offer women an alternative to an obstetrician. Others work for birthing centers or are in private practice.

If you plan to pursue a career as a midwife, you may be surprised to find out that you can specialize in a certain area of care. In the past, most midwives worked with women who had what was considered low-risk pregnancies. In many instances, women who chose midwives were interested in a natural approach to labor with few interventions, such as an epidural or pain medication.

But as the field continues to evolve, so do the opportunities to specialize. Although many midwives may continue to offer routine gynecological and obstetric care to their patients, some may also narrow their focus and become experts in a particular specialty. The path to specializing as a midwife depends on what area you are interested in. In some cases, midwives may earn additional credentials. Here are some common midwifery specialisms:

Infertility

The struggle to conceive affects millions of couples. In the United States alone, about one in ten couples have trouble conceiving. Women with infertility may have physical, emotional and financial concerns. Although midwives themselves do not perform the same procedures as doctors who are fertility specialties, they can still help women navigate through the process.  A midwife may offer support and educate women on fertility issues and treatment options, as well as, provide information on ways to naturally enhance fertility.

High-Risk Care

In the United States, most women who choose midwives have low-risk pregnancies. But the role of a midwife is expanding, and some midwives specialize in high-risk care. Midwives who provide high-risk care have additional knowledge and expertise caring for women who have a co-existing medical problem or become unwell during pregnancy.

Pregnancy and Newborn Screening

Although all midwives have a broad understanding of pregnancy screenings, some become experts in more complex issues. A midwife who specializes in pregnancy and newborn screening helps women make informed decisions for testing based on their individual needs.

Home Births

Another specialty option for midwives is home births. Assisting a woman in delivering her baby in her home as opposed to a medical facility requires a certain set of skills. Midwives who specialize in home births are sometimes referred to as community midwives.

Teen Pregnancy

Teens who become pregnant often require a different approach than an adult woman needs. There are both physical and emotional issues that may develop when a teen goes through pregnancy and labor. A midwife specializing in teen pregnancy has the knowledge to help teens through the experience and deal with the additional issues they may face due to their young age.

If you’re interested in any of these exciting midwifery specialisms, why not join us on a midwifery shadowing placement? That way you’ll get a real-life glimpse into the life of a midwife, and start training safe in the knowledge that it’s the right option for you.

 

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.

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